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STUDENTS  LIBRARY 


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UEI?ARY 


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II 


U'JIfilliliJ 


THE 


EAETH    AND    ITS    INHABITANTS 


EUROPE. 


BY 


fiLISEE  RECLUS. 


EDITED    BY 

E.  G.  RAYENSTEm,  F.R.G.S.,  F.S.S.,  Etc 


VOL.  IV. 

THE  BRITISH   ISLES. 


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ILLUSTRATED  BY  NUMEROUS  ENGRAVINGS  AND  MAPS. 


NEW    YORK: 
D.    APPLETON    AIN^D    COMPANY, 

1,    3,    AND    5    BOND     STREET. 


JUN  7     1956 


CHAP. 


CONTENTS. 

VOL.  IV. 


PAGE 


I.  General  Featurks 1 

The  British  Seas,   p.  3.     Geology  and  Surface  Features,  p.  7.     Rivers  and  Lakes,  p.  15. 
Climate,  p.  17.     Flora,  p.  23.     Fauna,  p.  27.     Inhabitants,  p.  28. 

II.  WAi,Ti"8  AND  Monmouthshire. 46 

General  Features,  p.  46.     The  Welsh  People,  p.  55. 
Topography. — Flint,  p.  58.     Denbigh,  p.  60.     Carnarvon,  p.  61.     Anglesey,  62.     Merioneth, 
p.  64.      Montgomery,  p.  65.      Cardigan,  p.  66.      Pembroke,  p.  67.      Carmarthen,  p.  69. 
Glamorgan,  p.  69.     Monmouth,  p.  72.     Brecknock,  p.  73.     Radnor,  p.  74. 

III.  The  Cornish  Pkninsula 75 

General  Features,  p.  75. 
Topograph]) — CoruM-all,  p   84.     Devonshire,  p.  87. 

IV.  The  Basin  of  the  Severn  and  the  Bristol  Channel, .96 

General  Features,  p.  96. 
Topography. — Shropshire,  p.  101,     Worcester,  p.  104.     Warwick,  p.  105.     Gloucester,  p.  111. 
Hereford,  p.  117.     Somerset,  p.  119. 

V.  The  Channel  Slope 122 

General  Features,  p.  122. 
Topography. — Dorset,  p.  131.     Wilts,  p.  132.     Hampshire,  p.  136,     Sussex,  141. 

VI.  The  Basin  of  the  Thamf.s   .............  146 

General  Features,  p.  H6. 
Topography. — Oxford,  p.   153.     Berkshire,  p.   157.     Buckingham,  p.  161.     Hertford,  p.  162. 
Middlesex,  p.  164.     London,  p.  165.     Surrey,  p.  199.     Kent,  p.  202,     Essex,  p.  209. 

VII.  East  Anglta 212 

General  Features,  p.  212. 
Topography.— ^\xSQ\\i.  p.  211.     Norfolk,  p.  216, 

VIII.  The  Basin  of  the  Wash 220 

General  Features,  p.  220. 
Topography. — Bedford,  p.  224.  Huntingdon,  p.  225.   Cambridge,  p.  225.  Northampton,  p.  227. 
Rutland,  p.  2^8.     Lincoln,  p.  228. 

IX,  The  Basin  of  the  Hvmrer 233 

General  Features,  p.  233, 
To;jo/7r«joA«/.— Stafford,  p.  238.      Derby,  p.  242.     Leicester,  p.  244.      Nottingham,  p.  245. 
Yorkshire,  p.  246. 

X.  The  Basins  of  the  Mersey  and  the  Ribble 261 

General  Features,  p.  261. 
Topojraphy . — Cheshire,  p.  262,     Lancashire,  p.  265. 


j^  CONTENTS. 

PAGK 

'xL  The  North  of  England,  the  Cumbhian  Mountains,  the  B.sins  of  the  Eden,  the  Tees,  ^_^ 

AND    THE   TyNE 

General  Features,  p.  279,  oon      x-     n        v. 

Topography.-We^imove\2.u^,  p.  284.     Cumberland,  p.  286.     Durham,  p.  289.     Northumber- 
land, p.  293. 

299 
XII.  The  Isle  of  Man 

XIII.  Southern  Scotland ;         *      „  '      t  i      i  "  "^ 

General  Features,  p.  302.  Surface  Features,  p.  1303.    Coasts,  p.  306.  Eivers,  p.  806.    Islands, 

p.  307.     Inhabitants,  p.  309. 
rojoo^;-«jo%.-Durnfries,p.313.    Kirkcudbright,  p.  313.  Wigtown,  p.  314.    Ayr,  p.  314.   Bute, 
p   315.     Lanark,  p.  315.     Eenfrew,  p.  319.   Dumbarton,  p.  320.    Peebles,  p.  322.     Selkirk, 
p'  322.      Roxburgh,  p.  322.     Berwick,  p.  323.     Haddington,  p.  325.      Edinburgli,  p.  325. 
Linlithgow,  p.  328.    Stirling,  p.  329.    Clackmannan,  p.  329.    Kinross,  p.  330.    Fife,  p.  331. 

333 

XIV.  Northern  Scotland 

General  Features,  p.  333.  Mountains,  p.  335.  Glaciation,  p.  337.  Fuths  and  Lochs, 
p.  339.  Islands,  p.  343.  Orkneys,  p.  343.  Shetland  Isles,  p.  345.  Hebrides,  p.  346. 
Climate,  p.  353.  Flora  and  Fauna,  p.  354.  The  People,  p.  355. 
Topography.— Vevih.,  p.  362.  Forfar,  p.  364.  Kincardine,  p.  366.  Aberdeen,  p.  367.  Banff, 
p.  371.  Elgin,  p.  371.  Nairn,  p.  371.  Inverness,  p.  371.  Ross  and  Cromarty,  p.  373. 
Sutherland,  p.  Wo.     Caithness,  p.  376.     Orkneys  and  Shetlands,  p.  377.     Argyll,  p.  377. 

XV.  Ireland ^"'^ 

General  Features,  p.  378.    Surface  Features,  p.  379.    Geology,  p.  380.     Mountains,  p.  380. 
The  Central  Plain,  p.  386.     Lakes,  p.  387.     Bogs,  p.  389.     liivers,  p.  390.     Clim.te,  p.  394. 
Flora  and  Fauna,  p.  395.     The  People,  p.  396. 
roi?o^m/)%.—LEiN8TER.— Dublin,  p.   411.     Louth,  p.  414.      Meath,  p.  414.      Westmeath, 

p.  415.     Longford,  p.  415.     King's  County,  p.  415.     Queen's  County,  p.  415.     Kildare, 

p.  416.    Wicklow,  p.  416.     Wexford,  p.  417.     Carlow,  p.  417.     Kilkenny,  p.  417. 
Ulster.— Down,  p.  418.  Antrim,  p.  420.    Londonderry,  p.  422.    Tyrone,  p.  423,  Armagh, 

p.  423.     Monaghan,  p.  423.     Cavan,  p.  424.     Fermanagh,  p.  424.     Donegal,  p.  424. 
Connaught.— Leitrim,  p.  425.      Roscommon,  p.  425.      Galway,  p.  425,      Mayo,  p.  427. 

Sligo,  p.  427. 
MuNSTER.— Clare,  p.  427.     Limerick,  p.  428       Kerry,  p.  429.     Cork,  p.  430.      Waterfoid, 

p.  433.     Tipperary,  p.  434. 

XVI.  Statistics  of  the  United  Kingdom 436 

Population,  p.  436.     Agriculture,  p.  443.     Mining,  p.  451.     Manufactures,  p.  456.     Com- 
merce, p.  460.     Social  Condition,  p.  469. 

XVII.  Government  and  Administration 475 

APPENDIX:     Statistical  Tables 487 

I.  Area  and  Population 487 

II.  Agricultural  Statistics  of  the  British  Isles 494 

III.  Imports  of  Merchandise  into  the  United  Kingdom  classified 496 

IV.  Exports  of  British  Produce  classified         .         .         .         •         .         .         •         .         ,497 
V.  Imports  and  Exports  according  to  Countries 498 

VI.  Trade  of  the  Principal  Ports,  1879 600 

VII.  Statistical  View  of  the  British  Empire 502 

INDEX 505 

Note. — On  a  comparison  of  this  volume  with  the  corresponding  French  one,  it  will  be  found  that  not 
only  have  ninety  additional  illustrations  been  inserted  in  the  text,  and  four  coloured  maps  added,  but 
that  the  text  itself  has  been  expanded  to  the  extent  of  nearly  one  hundred  pages.  It  was  thought  that  a 
work  intended  for  English  readers  should  furnish  information  on  the  British  Isles  somewhat  more  full  than 
that  given  for  the  countries  of  Continental  Europe.  The  Editor,  in  making  these  additions,  has  taken 
care  to  preserve  the  character  of  M.  Reclus's  original  work.  He  has  occasionally  enlarged  upon  matters 
only  slightly  touched  upon  by  the  French  author,  and  expanded  more  especially  the  topographical 
portion  of  the  work,  but  he  has  carefully  abstained  from  intruding  his  own  opinions  when  these  were  not 
quite  in  accord  with  the  views  held  by  the  Author. — E.  G.  R. 


LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS. 


VOL.  IV. 


MAPS  PEINTED  m  COLOUES. 


1.  British  Islands;  Physical    ,       Frontispiece. 

2.  „  Geological 

3.  „  Political    .         .         .         . 

4.  The  Overland  Route  to  Australia 


46 
138 


5.  London  and  the  Estuary  of  the  Thames 

6.  Edinburgh  and  the  Firth  of  Forth 

7.  Dublin  Bay 

8.  The  North  Atlantic  Ocean  . 


PAGE 

165 
325 
411 
430 


PLATES. 


Pass  of  Llanberis     .         .         .        To  face  page      48 
Carnarvon  Castle     .         .         .         .         .         .62 

Torquay,  as  seen  from  Land's  End  ...       90 

Rocks  at  Ilfracombe 95 

Shrewsbury — House  of  the  Sixteenth  Century     101 

Warwick  Castle 106 

CliflPs  east  of  Dover 130 

Isle  of  Wight— Lake  at  Bonchurch  .         .141 

Oxford— High  Street 154 

"Windsor  Castle 160 

London— The  Royal  Exchange         .         .         .175 
„  The  Houses  of  Parliament,  as  seen 

from  Lambeth  .         .         .         .185 

Canterbury  Cathedral 206 

Ely,  from  the  Banks  of  the  Ouse  .  .  .  227 
Ham  Rock,  Dovedale  .  .  •  .  .241 
Ruins  of  Fountains  Abbey       .         .         .         .253 

Liverpool  Docks 272 

Derwentwater 288 


Loch 


Durham  Cathedral   .         .         .        To  face  pagc^    291 
Loch  Lomond  and  Men.  Lomond,  as  seen  from 

Inchtavannah 
The  Port  of  Glasgow 
Edinburgh,  from  Calton  Hill 
Holyrood  Palace  and  Arthur's 
The  Caledonian  Canal 
Eilan   Donan   Castle— Loch 

Duich  .         . 

Isle  of  Skye— the  Kilt  Rock 
Fingal's  Cave,  Isle  of  Staffa 
Ruins  of  lona  Cathedral  and  Oran's  Chapel 
Loch  Katrine— Ellen's  Island,  as  seen  from  the 

Silver  Strand 364 

Pass  of  Glencoe 377 

Typical  Irish  .......     396 

Vale  of  Glendalough 401 

Limerick— Thomond's  Bridge  and  King  John's 

Castle 429 


306 
319 
326 
327 
333 

346 
347 
352 
357 


LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS. 


ILLUSTRATIONS  IN  TEXT. 


ENGLAND  AND  WALES. 

1 .  The  North  Sea 

2.  The    Strait    of  Dover    and  the    EngUsh 

Channel 

3.  The  Irish  Sea 

4.  Cotidal  Lines  .... 

5.  Section    from  Snowdon    to    the  East   oj 

England 

6.  Geological  Map    of    South-Eastern  Eng 

land     ...••• 

7.  The  Stack  Ro.ks,  South  Wales 

8.  Plymouth  Sound  and  the  Hamoaze    . 

9.  Comparative   Size  of    some    British    and 

Foreign  Lakes     .... 

10.  The  River  Basins  of  the  British  Isles 

1 1.  Isothermal  Lines  for  July  and  January 

12.  Diagram  exhibiting  the  Annual  March  of 

Temperature         .... 

13.  Rain  Map  of  the  British  Isles    . 
U.   Yuccas  on  Tresco  (Scilly  Islands) 

15.  An  English  Homestead 

16.  The    Giant's    Quoit    at    Lanyon,  near 

Penzance     ..... 

17.  Gaels  and  CjTnri        .         .         .         • 

18.  The  British  Colonies 

19.  Arundel  Castle  •  Interior  Quadkangle 

20.  View  of  Snowdon 

21.  Snowdon 

22.  The  Brecknock  Beacons     . 

23.  Erosive  Action    on    the   Coast   of   South 

Wales 

24.  Effects   of    Erosion   on  the   Coast  of 

South      Wales:      thb     Huntsman's 
Leap 

25.  The  Suspension  Bridge,  TMenai  Strait 

26.  The  Britannia  Tuhular  Bridge 
27-  The  Bridges  over  Menai  Strait 

28.  Linguistic  Map  of  Wales 

29.  The    Sands    of   the    Dee,   from    abov 

Bagilt         ..... 

30.  Remains  of  Vallb  Crucis  Abrey 
3L  Holyhead  Harbour    .... 

32.  Harhour  of  Refuge,  Holyhead     . 

33.  On  the  Dee,  near  Bala 

34.  The  Parliament  House,  Dolgelly 
3-5.  Milford  Haven  .... 

36.  Milford  Haven        .... 

37.  The      Worm's    Head  :      PiN insula     oi 

Gower         ..... 

38.  Swansea    ...... 

39.  Cardiff 

40.  Newport    . 

41.  Land's  End  and   the  Longshifs  Light 

HOUSE  

42.  The    "Ahmed    Knights,"    near    Land'i 

End 

43.  The  Scilly  Islands      .         .         ,         , 

44.  The  Botallack  Mine 


PACJK 

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50 


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08 


FIO. 

45. 

46. 
47. 
48. 
49. 
5t). 
5L 
52. 
53. 

54. 
55. 
56. 
57. 
68. 
59. 
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61. 

62. 
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65. 
66. 
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82. 
83. 
84. 
85. 
86. 
87. 


the 


89. 
90. 
91. 

92. 

93. 
94. 
95. 
96. 


Penzance  .         .         .         • 

Falmouth  and  Truro 
Plymouth  .         .         .         • 

Smeaton's  Eddvstone  Lighthouse 
Eddystone  Rocks 

Tor  Bay 

Exeter  and  the  Estuary  of  the  Exe 

Exeter  Cathedral 

Promontories  and  Beach  of  Weston- super 

Mare  .         .         .         ■ 

Bristol  Channel 

Railway  Ferry  at  Portskewet     . 
Shrewsbury        .... 
Warwick  and  Leamington 
Strat  ford-on- Avon     . 
Shakspere's  House 
Birmingham       .... 
The   Severn    below    Gloucester,   and 

Berkeley  Ship  Canal    . 
Gloucester  Cathedral    . 
The  Cloisters  :  Gloucester  Cathedral 
Cheltenham       .... 
Bristol  and  Bath 
Clifton  Suspension  Bridge 
Hereford  Cathedral 
Portland    ..... 
The  Isle  of  Wight     . 
Portsmouth        .... 
Beachy  Head     . 
Romney  Marsh 
Salisbury  Cathedrvl 
Salisbury  and  Stonehenge 
Stonehenge       .... 
Southampton  Water 
Portsmouth  and  Approaches 
Brighton  .... 

Hastings  .... 

Cirencester  and  Thames  Head   . 
Old  London  Bridge 
The  Entrance  to  the  Thames 
The  Isle  of  Thanet    . 
Goodwin  Sands 
The  Environs  of  Oxford    . 

Reading 

Windsor    ..... 
Annual  Increase  of  Population  in  T 

one  Cities  of  Europe 
The  Growth  of  London 
The  London  Sewers 
London:    Hyde     Park     and     the    Ser 


hirt\ 


pentine 

Increase   of   Imm'gration   and    Excess  of 

Births  of  the  Large  Cities  of  Europe 
Railways  of  London 
Buckingham  Palace 
Westminster  Abbey 
Westminster     Abbey  :      Henry     YII.'s 

Chapel 


PAOB 

84 
86 
88 
90 
91 
92 
93 
94 

97 
99 
100 
102 
107 
108 
109 
110 

111 

112 
113 
114 
116 
117 
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123 
126 
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133 
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140 
143 
144 
147 
149 
150 
151 
152 
155 
158 
159 


166 
169 
172 

173 

175 
177 
182 
183 

184 


LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS. 


no. 

97.  St.  Paul's  Cathedral    .        .         .         . 

98.  Somerset     House     and     the    Victoria 

Embankment      ..... 

99.  Kew  and  Richmond  .... 

100.  The  Docks  of  London       .... 

101.  Guildford  and  Godalming 

102.  Rochester  and  Chatham   .... 

103.  Dover 

104.  Harwich  and  Ipswich  and  their  Estuaries 

105.  Great  Yarmouth  and  Lowestoft 

106.  Norman  Tower  and  Akbey  :    Bury  St. 

Edmunds    ...... 

107.  Norwich  Catuedkal       .... 

108.  Norwich  .         .         .  . 

109.  The  Wash 

110.  The  Fens  of  Wisbeach  and  Peterborough 

111.  Cambridge        ...... 

112.  Lincoln  Cathedral        .... 

113.  Lincoln    ....... 

114.  'l"he  "  Peak  "  of  Derbyshire 

1 15.  The  Mouth  of  the  Humber  and  Port  of 

Holderness         ..... 

116.  Warped  Plain  of  the  Ouse  and  the  Trent 

117.  The  District  of  the  Potteries    . 

118.  Lichfield  Cathedral     .... 

119.  Derby      ....... 

120.  York 

121.  York  Minster        ..... 

122.  Middlesborough  and  Stockton-on-Tees     . 

123.  Scarborough 

124.  Towns  in  South- Western  Yorkshire 

125.  Leeds       ....... 

126.  Halifax  and  Huddersfield 

127.  Sheffield 

128.  Chester 

129.  Watergate  R  >w,  Chester     . 

130.  Chester  C\thedhal  (as  restori?d) 

131.  Towns  in  Lancashire  and  Cheshire  . 

132.  Manchester  and  Environs 

133.  Liverpool  ...... 

1.34.  Liverpool  :  The  Landing-stage    . 
135.  ,,  St.  George's  Hall     . 

1  <6.  Liverpool  Water  Works  . 

137.  Preston 

138.  Hypsographical    Map   of    the  Cumbrian 

Mountains  ..... 

139.  Cumbrian  Mountains        .... 

140.  Hadrian's  Wall 

141.  The  Head  of  Windermere   . 

142.  Screes  at  Wastwater,  Cumberland 

143.  The  Falls  of  Lodore  .... 

144.  Hartlepool 

145.  The  Durham  Coast  between  Sunderland 

and  the  Tyne     ..... 

146.  Sunderland,  Newcastle,  and  the  Mouth  of 

the  Tyne 

147.  Holy  Island 

148.  The  Isle  of  Man 

SCOTLAND. 

149.  Mount  Merrick 

150.  The  Wall  of  Antoninus   .... 

151.  Loch  Lomond  ...... 

152.  Arran  Island 


PAGK 

186 

187 
191 
ly6 
201 
205 
208 
211 
213 

215 
2l6 
217 
221 
223 
226 
230 
231 
234 

235 
237 
239 
241 
243 
244 
248 
2,50 
251 
254 
256 
258 
259 
262 
263 
264 
266 
267 
271 
272 
273 
274 
277 

280 
281 
283 
285 
287 
288 
290 

292 

294 
297 
300 


304 
306 
307 
308 


FIG. 

153. 
154. 
155. 
156. 
157. 
158. 
159. 
160. 
161. 
162. 
163. 
164. 
165. 
166. 
167. 
168. 

169. 
170. 
171. 
172. 
173. 
174. 

175. 
176. 
177. 
178. 
179. 
180. 
181. 
182. 
183. 
184. 
185. 
186. 
187. 
188. 
189. 


Firth  of  Clyde 

The  Rhinns  of  Galloway  . 

Glasgow  ..... 

Greenock  and  Helensburgh 

Dumbarton       .... 

Galashiels  and  Melrose     . 

Hawick   ... 

Firth  of  Forth 

Ihe  Narrows  of  Queensferry    . 

Glezimore  .... 

Ben  Nevis        .... 

I'he  Parallel  Roads  of  Gleuroy 

The  Firths  of  Western  Scotland 

Loch  Etive       .... 

Loch  Tarbert  and  the  Crinan  Canal 

Holy  Loch,   and  the   silted -up   Loch  of 

Eachaig      .... 
The  Orkneys   .         .         .      •  . 
I'he  Shetland  Islands 
The  Western  Islands 
Lochs  of  Southern  Lewis 
St.  Kilda  .... 

Staffa  :  View  taken  from   the  t 

a  Cliff      .... 
The  Exterior  of  Fingal's  Cave 
The  Head  of  Loch  Fyne  . 
The  Standing  Stones  of  Sten.ms 
Linguistic  Map  of  Scotland 
Perth       .... 
The  Tay  Bridge  and  Dundee  (18; 
Dundee  and  the  Mouth  of  the  Tay 
Montrose 
Aberdeen 
Balmoral 

Peterhead  and  Fraserburgh 
Firth  of  Inverness    . 
Kirkwall 
Stornuway 
Lerwick  .... 


8)    . 


IRELAND. 

190.  Hypsographical  Map  of  Ireland 

191.  The  Lakes  of  Killarney   .... 

192.  The  Wicklow  Mountains 

193.  The  Giants'  Causeway  .... 

194.  The  Giants'  Causeway  and  Rathlin  Island 

195.  The  Table-land  of  Magheraboy 

196.  The    Underground    Emissary    of    Lough 

Mask 

197.  Upper  Lough  Erne  ..... 

198.  The  Falls  of  Doonas,  at  Castleconnel 

199.  The  Mouth  of  the  Shannon      . 

200.  Linguistic  Map  of  Ireland 

201.  Movement  of  the  Population  in  Ireland   . 

202.  Distribution   of    Natives    of    Ireland    in 

Great  Britain      ..... 

203.  View  of  Dublin  fkom  Ph(e.nmx  Park  . 
20 1.  Carlingford  Lough 

205.  Strangford  Lough 

206.  Belfast  Lough 

207.  Lough  Foyle   . 

208.  Galway  Bay     . 

209.  Killala  Bay      . 


PAOB 

312 
314 
317 
320 
321 
322 
323 
324 
330 
334 
335 
339 
340 
341 
342 

343 

344 
346 
347 
348 
349 

350 
351 
352 
356 
358 
362 
365 
366 
367 
368 
369 
370 
372 
374 
375 
376 


379 
381 
382 
384 
385 
386 


391 
b92 
393 
399 
408 

409 
413 
418 
419 
421 
422 
425 
426 


LIST  OF  ILLUSTEATIONS. 


KIiJ. 

210.  Sligo  Harbour  .         .         .         .         . 

211.  Round  Tower  of  Croom 

212.  Lakes  of  Killarney  :  Roan  Castle 

213.  Cape  Clear  Island    .         .         .         .         . 

214.  Cork  Harbour .         .         .         .         .         . 

215.  Increase  or  Decrease  of  the  Population, 

1861—1871 

216.  The  Local  Element  of  the  Pojmlation 

217.  Increase  and  Decrease  of  the  Natives  of 

each  County,  1861— 1871    . 

218.  Total  Emigration  from  the  British  Islands 
2!  9.  Land  under  Cultivation    .         .         .         . 

220.  I^nd  under  Corn  Crops    .... 

221.  Distribution  of  Cattle       .         .         .         . 

222.  Distribution  of  Sheep       .... 

223.  Distribution  of  Coal  in  Great  Britain 


PAGE 

FIG. 

PAGE 

428 

224 

Coal  Basins 

453 

429 

225 

The     Carboniferous     Formation    before 

430 

Denudation         ..... 

454 

431 

226 

Fluctuations  of  British  Commerce    . 

461 

432 

227. 

Stoknoway  :    Retukx   of  the    Fishing 

Fleet         

463 

438 

228. 

Wreck  Chart 

464 

439 

229. 

Canals  and  Navigable  Rivers  . 

465 

230. 

Railway  ]\Iap  .         .                  ... 

467 

440 

231. 

Valentia  and  its  Telegrap    Cables    . 

468 

442 

232. 

Educational  Map 

472 

444 

233. 

Yorkshire  and  Rutlandshire  contrasted     . 

476 

44.5 

234. 

Diocesan  Map  of  the  British  Islands 

480 

449 

235. 

Distribution  of  Roman  Catholics 

481 

450 

236. 

Breaches  in  the  North  Downs   and  the 

452  j 

Camp  of  Aldershot     .... 

4  85 

THE  EARTH  AND  ITS  INHABITANTS. 


THE   BRITISH   ISLES. 


CHAPTER  I. 


Genebal  Features. 


RE  AT  BRITAIN  and  Ireland,  together  witli  the  numerous  small 
contiguous  islands,  form  but  an  insignificant  fraction  of  that  world 
upon  which  they  have  exercised  so  considerable  an  influence.  In 
area  they  do  not  form  the  thirtieth  part  of  Europe,  or  the  four 
hundred  and  thirtieth  of  the  habitable  globe,  whilst  their  truly 
fruitful  portion,  which  has  enabled  England  to  play  her  great  part  in  the  world's 
history,  constitutes  scarcely  more  than  one-half  of  the  United  Kingdom.* 

Great  Britain,  the  larger  of  the  two  main  islands  of  the  group,  is  separated 
from  Continental  Europe  by  the  English  Channel  and  the  North  Sea,  and  is  itself 
divided  into  several  well-marked  geographical  regions.  Ranges  of  hills,  and  even 
mountains,  no  less  than  the  elongated  shape  of  the  island,  were  favourable  to  the 
formation  of  distinct  communities,  whose  conflicting  interests,  as  might  have  been 
expected,  were  frequently  decided  by  an  appeal  to  arms.  South-eastern  England, 
a  country  of  plains  and  hills,  is  one  of  these  natural  regions,  and  for  ages  its  inha- 
bitants differed  from  their  neighbours  in  history  and  manners.  The  peninsula  of 
Cornwall,  between  the  English  and  Bristol  Channels,  which  juts  out  into  the  open 
Atlantic,  no  less  than  the  mountain  land  of  Wales,  bounded  on  the  south  and  north 


Great  Britain     . 

931  Minor  contiguous  Islands 

Isle  of  Man 

Ireland      .... 

196  Minor  contiguous  Islands 

Total  British  Islands 


Population 

Area. 

(Estimated  for  1880) 

84,447 

28,630,000 

4,614 

300,000 

227 

56,000 

32,285 

5,370,000 

246 

5,000 

121,819 

34,361,000 

2  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

by  well-defined  indentations  of  tlie  coast,  are  likewise  countries  distinguished  by 
special  features  which  could  not  fail  of  exercising  an  influence  upon  their  inhabit- 
ants. The  mountainous  part  of  England,  to  the  north  of  the  Humber  and  Mersey, 
forms  a  fourth  natural  province,  differing  from  the  remainder  of  England  in  its 
geological  structure  no  less  than  in  the  history  of  its  inhabitants.  The  Cheviot 
Hills,  which  run  across  the  island  from  sea  to  sea  to  the  north  of  the  Solway 
Firth,  form  a  well-defined  historical  boundary,  and  so  does  the  lowland  plain 
which  stretches  from  the  Firth  of  Forth  to  the  Firth  of  Clyde.  The  sterile  moun- 
tains and  valleys  of  the  Scottish  Highlands  form  a  most  striking  contrast  to  the 
low  plains  and  gentle  hills  stretching  away  to  the  south.*  At  two  places  these 
natural  frontiers  have  been  marked,  as  it  were,  by  lines  of  fortifications,  viz. 
between  the  estuary  of  the  Forth  and  that  of  the  Clyde,  and  farther  south,  between 
the  mouth  of  the  Tyne  and  the  Solway  Firth,  where  the  Eomans  constructed 
ramparts  and  towers  to  put  a  stop  to  the  depredations  of  the  Highland  tribes. 

The  contours  of  Great  Britain  are  at  once  symmetrical  and  bold.  In  its  general 
structure  that  island  strikingly  resembles  the  peninsula  of  Scandinavia.  Like  the 
latter,  it  stretches  from  north  to  south  in  the  direction  of  the  meridians,  its 
plateaux  and  mountains  rise  near  the  west  coast,  and  its  principal  rivers  flow  to 
the  eastward.  Ireland,  though  it  too  has  fine  contours,  is  far  more  massive  in  its 
configuration  than  the  sister  island.  Its  mountains  form  the  nuclei  of  distinct 
provinces,  whose  inhabitants  made  war  upon  each  other ;  but  on  the  whole  its 
features  exhibit  greater  geographical  unity  than  those  of  the  larger  island. 

The  British  Islands  rise  upon  the  submarine  plateau  of  North-western  Europe. 
The  strait  which  separates  England  from  France  is  narrow  and  of  inconsiderable 
depth,  and  from  the  heights  above  Dover  the  grey  cliffs  of  Gris  Nez  are  distinctly 
visible  on  a  clear  day.  Still,  Albion,  to  the  ancestors  of  the  modern  Frenchmen,  was 
a  distant  country.  Squalls  of  wind,  rapid  and  changing  currents,  sand-banks,  and 
steep  cliffs  rendered  navigation  perilous.  In  time  of  war  communications  between 
the  two  countries  ceased  altogether ;  whilst  during  peace,  owing  to  the  danger 
which  attended  them,  hardly  any  but  sailors  and  merchants  profited  by  them.  The 
mass  of  the  nation  was  thus  little  affected  by  events  which  took  place  on  the  conti- 
nent, and  remained  insular  in  its  mode  of  life,  customs,  and  ideas.  The  Romans, 
moreover,  only  succeeded  in  subduing  a  portion  of  Great  Britain,  and  the  influence 
they  exercised  was  therefore  far  less  powerful  than  in  Gaul.  The  highlands  of 
Scotland  and  Ireland  never  formed  part  of  the  Roman  world  at  all,  the  remote- 
ness and  the  perils  of  the  ocean  affording  them  a  protection  against  the  legions 
of  the  Ca3sars.  It  was  only  slowly  and  by  degrees  that  the  tribes  inhabiting 
those  countries  were  affected  by  the  civilisation  which  had  Rome  for  its  centre. 
The  British  Islands  thus  occupied  a  position,  relatively  to  the  general  history 
of  mankind,  analogous  to  that  which  they  hold  to  the  fauna  and  flora  of  Conti- 
nental Europe.  Numerous  species  of  French  and  German  plants,  perfectly 
adapted  to  the  climate  of  England,  are  nevertheless  not  found  there,  and  Ireland  is 
still  poorer  than  Great  Britain  in  its  animal  and  vegetable  forms.     The  migration 

*  Buckle,  "History  of  Civilization  in  England." 


THE  BRITISH  SEAS.  3 

of  numerous  species  has  been  prevented  by  the  obstacles  presented  by  tbe  sea,  and 
in  tbe  same  way  many  great  events  in  the  history  of  Europe  affected  England  but 
slightly,  and  were  hardly  felt  at  all  in  distant  Erin. 

The  progressive  development  of  England  was  thus  marked  by  originality  and 
spontaneity.  The  country  which  gave  birth  to  this  national  civilisation  possesses, 
moreover,  very  considerable  physical  advantages.  Its  hills  and  mountains  are  of 
moderate  height,  and  present  no  serious  obstacles  to  free  communications  between 
the  inhabitants  dwelling  on  opposite  slopes ;  for  the  Grampians  lie  outside  the 
living  portion  of  the  country,  in  a  region  of  sea-born  winds  and  mists,  and 
are,  besides,  very  thinly  inhabited.  The  lowlands,  privileged  in  every  respect, 
occupy  the  other  extremity  of  the  island,  and  face  Continental  Europe.  Washed 
and  defended  by  the  sea  on  the  east  and  the  south,  this  portion  of  England 
hospitably  opened  its  ports  to  colonists  and  merchants.  It  was  there,  in  the  vicinity 
of  France  and  the  Netherlands,  that  civilisation  made  most  rapid  progress,  and 
the  capital  of  the  entire  country  was  established. 

The  British  Sf-as. 

To  the  seas  which  surround  them  the  British  Islands  are  indebted  for  the  mild- 
ness of  their  climate,  their  security  from  foreign  invasion,  their  commerce,  and 
the  wealth  yielded  by  productive  fisheries.  These  seas  are  shallow.  If  the 
waters  were  to  subside  to  the  extent  of  300  feet,  the  whole  of  the  British  Islands, 
including  Ireland,  would  once  more  be  united  to  Continental  Europe.  A 
subsidence  of  little  more  than  100  feet  would  result  in  the  formation  of  an 
isthmus  connecting  Lincolnshire  with  Holland.  A  line  drawn  on  a  map  to  mark 
a  depth  of  600  feet  passes  about  60  miles  to  the  west  of  Ireland,  the  Outer 
Hebrides,  and  Shetland.  All  within  that  line  is  less  considerable  in  depth, 
excepting  only  a  few  "  pits  " — depressions  in  the  bed  of  the  sea — which  lie  off  the 
west  coast  of  Scotland  and  in  the  North  Channel. 

The  North  Sea,  or  German  Ocean,  to  the  south  of  the  parallel  of  Aberdeen, 
hardly  anywhere  exceeds  a  depth  of  800  feet,  and  it  grows  shallower  towards  the 
south.  It  is  exceedingly  rich  in  fish,  and  Mobius*  very  justly  remarks  that  its  bed 
is  far  more  profitable  to  man  than  are  the  sterile  heaths  which  border  its  shores. 
Its  fisheries  give  employment  to  about  900  fishing-smacks,  of  which  650  sail  under 
the  English  flag,  and  the  harvest  of  fish  annually  drawn  from  its  depths  has  been 
estimated  at  75,000  tons.  One  of  its  most  productive  fishing  grounds  is  the 
Dogger  Bank,  which  occupies  its  centre,  and  supplies  London  and  other  large 
towns  with  immense  quantities  of  cod.  The  North  Sea  is  indebted  for  its  wealth 
in  fish  to  its  shallowness  and  freedom  from  rocks.  Oyster  beds  are  the  only 
obstacles  which  the  dredge  of  the  fisherman  occasionally  encounters.  These 
oysters  of  the  high  sea,  however,  are  but  little  esteemed.  The  best  oysters  are 
found  in  the  shallow,  brackish  waters  along  the  English  coast,  and  it  is  these  which 
are  deposited  in  the  oyster  parks  of  Ostend  to  be  fattened. 

*  "  Das  Thierleben  am  Boden  der  Ost-  und  Nordaee." 


4  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

In  its  general  features  the  bed  of  the  North  Sea  resembles  the  mud-flats  or 
«.aMe«,  of  its  eastern  shore.  Oceanic  currents  have  scooped  out  channels  m  the 
mud  and  sand,  but  the  original  relief  of  the  sea-bed  has  been  obliterated.  A 
submarine  plain   like  this  can  be  the  product  only  of  causes  acting  uniformly 

Fig.  1. — The  North  Sea. 
Scale  1  : 7,400,000. 


]0«pf*  InFtthomM  | 

27toS4  S4tonO 

100  Miles. 


over  a  wide  area ;  and  for  sucli  a  cause  the  majority  of  geologists  go  back  to  the 
glacial  epoch,  when  glaciers,  laden  with  the  waste  of  the  land,  drifted  into  this 
ancient  gulf  of  the  Atlantic,  and  there  deposited  their  loads.*  Even  at  the  present 
day  there  are  agencies  at  work  which  tend  to  fill  up  the  basin  of  the  North  Sea. 

•  Ramsay,  "Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Great  Britain." 


THE  BRITISH  SEAS.  5 

Glaciers  are  no  longer  stranded  on  its  shores,  but  rivers  deposit  in  it  the  sediment 
with  which  they  are  charged,  whilst  the  arctic  current,  which  makes  itself  feebly 
felt  in  this  vast  gulf,  conveys  into  it  the  pumice-stone  ejected  from  the  volcanoes 
of  Iceland  and  Jan  Mayen.*  Deposition  is  consequently  still  going  on,  though  at 
a  much  slower  rate  than  formerly.  But  how  are  we  to  explain  the  gradual  fillino- 
up  of  the  North  Sea,  whilst  the  abj'ssal  channel  which  separates  it  from  j^orway 

Fig.  2.— The  Strait  of  Dover  and  the  English  Channel. 
Prom  an  Admiralty  Chart.    Scale  1  :  795,000. 


retains  its  depth  of  hundreds  of  fathoms  ?  Is  it  not  that  its  very  depth  saved 
it  from  becoming  the  depository  of  glacial  drift  ?  The  glaciers  carried  south- 
ward by  currents  and  northerly  winds  may  be  supposed  to  have  stranded  only 
after  they  had  reached  the  shallower  waters  of  the  North  Sea,  when,  melting 
under  the  influence  of  the  sun,  they  deposited  upon  its  bottom  the  debris  they 
carried. 

The  Strait  of  Dover,  which  joins  the  North  Sea  to  the  English  Channel,  has  a 
width  of  only  20  miles,  and  in  depth  nowhere  exceeds  180  feet.     The  navigation  is 
*  "  Annales  Hydrographiques,"  4e  trimestre,  1873. 


THE  BPJTISH  ISLES. 


not  without  danger,  owing  to  conflicting  currents  and  the  sand-banks  which  cumber 
the  approaches.  The  most  famous  of  these  banks  are  the  Goodwins,  off  the  coast 
of  Kent,  within  which  lies  the  roadstead  called  the  Downs,  a  great  resort  of  vessels 
waiting  for  favourable  winds  and  tides.     The  English  Channel  gradually  increases 


Fig.  3.— The  Ikish  Sea. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chart.    Scale  1  :  795,000. 


■-f./s 


03  Lagijf 


--    ;.._^c,m      ^^^Ij^^fj^   <?/>    ^_j    so    36 


20  .3Tr  °' 


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„.j  C»     to       '"''  !•!    *'  ™- 

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ifi    /•       ?-^ 


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6      -^  ■if'-.^-Sktm,, 

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/      '<3^^    'tHolyheadB. 
«     .5,j   /v.?  r^""    35    2&  40  /7, 


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Z.'~r/'0O^       /    ,M       39        ■"  CARDIGAN   BAY  12    I2"*S^0^ 

^' \^^  nlT^.'    if)  7  u     I 

^-^^ll'!Bl<i<-\H,.4rb'!     .,  SO         **         * 


17       is   .,        ;  6.6 


i>r^M^« 


10  Miles. 


in-depth  as  we  proceed  to  the  westward,  until,  off  Land's  End,  it  exceeds  300 

The  Irish  Sea  is  far  more  considerable  in  depth  than  the  German  Ocean,  and 
Ireland  was  an  island  lying  off  the  coast  of  Western   Europe  long  before  Great 


GEOLOGY  AND  SURFACE  FEATURES.  7 

Britain  had  been  severed  from  the  neighbouring  continent.  Yet,  compared  with 
the  open  Atlantic,  or  even  with  inland  seas  in  volcanic  regions,  its  depth  is  incon- 
siderable. Only  detached  portions  of  its  bed  sink  below  300  feet,  and  the 
maximum  depth  does  not  exceed  500  feet.  In  the  North  Channel,  however, 
the  depth  is  greater,  being  nowhere  less  than  300  feet,  and  attaining  664  feet 
in  one  of  the  "pits"  lying  midway  between  Galloway  and  the  Lough  of 
Belfast. 

The  tidal  undulation  reaches  the  British  Islands  from  the  south-west,  and, 
travelling  along  the  west  coast  of  Ireland  and  Scotland,  wheels  completely 
round  the  north  of  the  islands,  so  that  the  old  tide  coming  from  the  northward, 
down  the  German  Ocean,  meets  the  Atlantic  tide  of  twelve  hours  later  date 
opposite  to  the  mouth  of  the  Thames.  Similarly,  opposite  tidal  currents  pene- 
trate into  the  Irish  Sea  from  the  north  and  the  south,  meeting  about  the 
parallel  of  the  Isle  of  Man.  The  rise  of  the  tide  is  generally  greater  on  the 
exposed  west  coast  than  on  either  the  south  or  east  coast,  but  varies  exceedingly 
according  to  local  circumstances.  Where  tidal  waves  meet,  a  higher  rise  is  the 
result,  but  where  the  time  at  which  a  high  tide  wave  reaches  a  particular  coast 
coincides  with  the  moment  of  ebb  of  a  tidal  wave  coming  from  another  direction, 
the  two  undulations  neutralise  each  other.  Thus,  on  the  south-east  coast  of 
Ireland,  and  at  the  Portland  Bill,  in  the  English  Channel,  the  two  undulations 
almost  balance  each  other,  and  the  tide  is  consequently  hardly  perceptible.  On 
the  contrary,  when  the  tidal  wave  enters  a  narrowing  arm  of  the  sea  or  an 
estuary,  it  advances  with  increasing  impetuosity,  and  attains  a  considerable 
height.  The  most  conspicuous  instance  of  this  is  presented  by  the  Bristol 
Channel,  which  becomes  shallower  as  it  narrows,  and  where  the  spring  tides  con- 
sequently attain  a  height  of  60  feet.  The  general  rise  of  the  tides,  however,  is 
far  less. 

Geology  akd  Surface  Featu4ies. 
England  is  distinguished  among  all  the  countries  of  Europe  for  its  great  variety 
of  geological  formations.  It  is  the  very  paradise  of  geologists,  for  it  may  be 
said  to  be  in  itself  an  epitome  of  the  geology  of  almost  the  whole  of  Europe,  and 
of  much  of  Asia  and  America.  There  are  few  formations  which  are  not  repre- 
sented at  least  by  a  few  patches,  and  so  regular  is  their  succession  that  the  geology 
of  England,  in  its  general  features  no  less  than  in  its  details,  became  sooner  known 
to  us  than  that  of  any  other  country  in  Europe.  The  geological  map  which 
William  Smith  published  in  1815,  after  twenty-five  years  of  unwearied  work,  in 
the  course  of  which  he  traversed  England  on  foot  in  all  directions,  is  a  remark- 
able work,  and  surprises  by  the  relative  perfection  with  which  it  brings  to  our 
knowledge  the  extent  of  the  various   geological  formations.*     Since  his  time  a 

♦  Table  of  British  Formations,  according  to  Professor  A.  C.  Eamsay : — 

Recent Alluvia,  Peat,  and  estuarine  beds  now  forming,  &c. 

Post  Tertiary River  and  estuarine  alluvia  ;   glacier  moraines  and  boulder 

clays  ;  forest  bed  of  Norfolk,  [Tertiary 


8  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

more  minute  survey  has  been  carried  on,  revealing  not  only  the  surface  geology 
in  all  its  details,  but  throwing  additional  light  upon  the  great  mineral  and 
metallic  wealth  hidden  in  the  bowels  of  the  earth.  Even  in  fabulous  times, 
long  before  history  mentioned  the  names  of  the  tribes  who  inhabited  the  British 
Isknds,  the  mineral  wealth  of  the  Cassiterides,  or  Cornwall,  attracted  merchants 
from  the  Mediterranean ;  and  to  the  present  day,  whatever  may  be  the  mineral 
riches  of  America  or  Australia,  the  British  Islands  remain  the  most  productive 
mining  country  in  the  world.  They  owe  their  pre-eminence,  however,  not  to  tin, 
but  to  coal  and  iron. 

The  geological  structure  of  Great  Britain  is  prominently  exhibited  in  its 
surface  features.  The  older  palaoozoic  rocks,  which  compose  the  most  rugged 
and  elevated  mountain  regions,  lie  to  the  west  and  north-west,  whilst  rocks  of  more 
recent  age  are  spread  over  the  hilly  districts  and  lowlands. 

In  the  rugged  Highlands,  which  to  the  north  of  a  line  drawn  from  the  Firth  of 
Clyde  to  Stonehaven,  on  the  German  Ocean,  fill  up  nearly  the  whole  of  Northern 
Scotland,  are  found  gneiss  and  mica  schist  of  the  Silurian  age,  with  numerous  bosses 
of  granite  and  syenite  rising  above  the  general  level,  and  forming  some  of  the 
most  prominent  peaks.  Along  part  of  the  west  coast  these  Silurian  rocks  overlie 
gneiss  and  sandstone  of  Cambrian  and  Laurentian  age,  closely  resembling  similar 
formations  found  in  Canada.  A  deep  fissure,  occupied  by  a  chain  of  lakes,  and 
bounded  by  steep  hills,  stretches  for  a  hundred  miles  from  Loch  Eil  to  the 
Moray  Firth.  This  is  the  Glenmore,  or  '*  large  valley."  It  separates  the 
northern  Highlands  from  the  Grampians,  in  which  rises  Ben  JN'evis,  the  culmi- 
nating point  of  the  British  Isles.  The  whole  of  this  tract  is  sterile  and  deso- 
late in  aspect,  consisting  largely  of  peaty  moorlands  and  brown  heaths,  and 
intersected  by  narrow  glens  and  valleys,  which  afford  pasturage  to  black  cattle 
and  sheep. 

A  wide  plain  separates  this  inhospitable  region  from  the  hilly  district  of 
Southern  Scotland.     This  plain,  stretching  from  the  Clyde  to  the  Forth,  and 


/  Pliocene Norwich  Crag,  Red  Crag  Coralline  Crag. 

Tektiahy      1  Miocene Bovey  Tracey  and  Mull  beds,  with  igneous  rocks. 

OR  Cainozoic   ]  Eocene Hempstead,    Bembridge,    Osborne,    and    Headon    beds ; 

Bracklesham  and  Bagshot  beds  ;  London  Clay. 

f  Cretaceous Chalk,  Greensand,  Gait,  Atherfield  Clay. 

j  Wealden  Series   ....     Weald  Clay,  Hastings  Sands,  Purbeck  beds. 

Secondary      '  ^*^^*^^  Series Portland  Oolite  and  Kimmeridge  Clay ;    Coral  Rag  and 

OR  Mtsozoic    1  Oxford  Clay ;   Cornbrash,  Forest  Marble,  Bath  Oolite ; 

I  Stonesfield  Slate  and  inferior  Oolite. 

I  Lias Clay,  Marlstone,  Rha^tic  beds. 

LXriassic New  Red  Marl  (Keuper),  New  Red  Sandstone  (Bunter). 

j'  Permian Magnesian  Limestone. 

Carboniferous Coal  Measures  and  Millstone  Grit ;    Carboniferous  Lime- 
stone and  Shales. 
Old    Red    Sandstone    and 

Devonian Sandstones,  Slate,  Limestones,  Shales,  INIarls,  and   Con- 
glomerate. 

Silurian Arenig  Slates,  Bala  or  Caradoc  beds,  Ludlow  Rocks. 

Cambrian Grits  and  Slates  of  Lonymynd  and  Wales,  Tremadoc  Slates. 

Laurentian Gneisa. 


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GEOLOGY  AND  SURFACE  FEATURES. 


extending  northward  to  Montrose,  is  occupied  by  old  red  sandstone  and  marl, 
and  by  the  shales,  sandstones,  and  limestones  of  the  carboniferous  series.  Masses 
of  igneous  rocks  rise  above  its  surface  and  diversify  its  scenery.  By  its  fertility 
this  plain  contrasts  most  strikingly  with  the  Grampians,  which,  like  a  wall,  bound 


Fig.  4. — Ootid AL  Lines. 
According  to  Scott  Russell.    Scale  1  :  10,626,000. 


OVofG. 


Over  109  Fathoms 


it  on  the  north.     It  is  rich,  moreover,  in  coal  and  iron,  and  has  become  a  great 
centre  of  population. 

The  hills  of  Southern  Scotland,  sometimes  called  the  Cheviot  Region,  after  the 
range  of  hills  which  almost  severs  Scotland  from  England,  resemble  the  Grampians 
in  geological  formation,  consisting,  like  them,  of  Silurian  rocks ;  but  being  less 
rugged  in  their  character,  and  penetrated  by  broader  valleys  of  considerable 
fertility,  they  are  far  more  hospitable.  Extensive  tracts  are  covered  with  grass, 
98— E 


10  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

affording  excellent  pasture  to  sheep,  and  agriculture  is  successfully  carried  on 
in  the  Tweeddale  and  other  valleys. 

A  gap,  through  which  passes  the  railway  from  Newcastle  to  Carlisle,  and 
which  lies  at  an  elevation  of  only  446  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  separates  the 
Cheviot  Hills  from  a  broad  range  of  carboniferous  rocks  which  forms  the  back- 
bone of  Northern  England,  and  stretches  from  Northumberland  to  Derbyshire. 
This  is  the  Pennine  chain,  a  region  of  moors,  heaths,  and  grassy  uplands,  inter- 
sected by  verdant  valleys  abounding  in  picturesque  scenery.  In  the  west  this 
chain  presents  a  steep  slope  towards  the  Irish  Sea,  whilst  to  the  east  it  dips  down 
gently,  and  finally  disappears  beneath  a  band  of  magnesian  limestone,  which 
separates  the  carboniferous  rocks  from  the  more  recent  formations  occupying  the 
plain  of  York.  The  wealth  of  the  Pennine  chain  in  coal  and  iron  has  attracted 
to  it  a  dense  population,  and  flourishing  manufacturing  towns  have  arisen  upon 
what  were  once  desolate  moorlands. 

A  transverse  ridge,  crossed  by  the  pass  of  Shap  Fell,  which  joins  the  narrow 
glen  of  the  Lune  to  the  broad  and  fertile  plain  of  the  Eden,  and  through  which 
runs  one  of  the  two  main  roads  connecting  England  and  Scotland,  joins  the 
Pennine  range  to  the  mountain  group  of  Cumbria.     Consisting  largely  of  Silurian 

Fig.  5. — Section  fkom  Snowdon  to  the  East  of  England. 
According  to  Professor  Ramsay. 

Pennine  Ra.  Lincoln 

Cheshire  Plain.     ..,K...f s  „„„v.     W''^fl''™«l  ^...^lit*  Wolds. 


Carbonif?  Rocks 
New  Red  Sandstone. 


York  Plain.   . 

Lias  !  i  Chalk 


slates,  this  mountain  group  is  famous  for  its  pastoral  scenery,  its  lakes  and  wooded 
valleys. 

The  broad  plain  of  Chester  sepa,rates  the  Pennine  chain  from  the  Cambrian 
or  Welsh  mountains,  composed  of  highly  disturbed  and  distorted  strata  of  Silurian 
and  Cambrian  slates,  intermingled  with  igneous  rocks,  and  interbedded  with  lavas 
and  beds  of  volcanic  ashes.  In  the  south-east  these  ancient  rocks  are  overlaid 
successively  by  old  red  sandstone  and  carboniferous  limestone,  and  there  the 
country,  though  hilly  and  even  mountainous,  is  naturally  fertile.  In  the  remainder 
of  Wales,  however,  although  there  are  not  wanting  broad  alluvial  valleys 
bounded  by  wooded  hills,  vast  tracts  are  covered  with  heath,  and  are  only  fit  for 
pasture. 

When  we  cross  the  Bristol  Channel  we  enter  the  last  mountainous  region  of 
England— that  which  comprehends  the  counties  of  Devon  and  Cornwall,  and 
attains  its  highest  elevation  in  the  granitic  moorlands  of  Dartmoor.  Geolo- 
gically this  region  differs  totally  from  Wales,  Silurian  rocks  being  altogether 
absent,  and  Devonian'  strata  the  oldest  formation  met  with.  This  south-western 
peninsula  of  England  is,  in  fact,  closely  allied  to  the  peninsula  of  Brittany  in 
France,  from  which  it  is  severed  now  by  the  Channel,  but  whence  it  derived  its 
population,  and  also,  in  part  at  least,  its  flora.     Its  mountain  ranges  and  hiUs  are 


GEOLOGY  AND  SUEFACE  FEATURES.  11 

bleak  and  treeless,  as  are  ttose  in  the  north,  but  they  yield  copper,  tin,  and  lead, 
and  between  them  lie  broad  pasture-lands  and  fruitful  valleys.* 

A  broad  expanse  of  comparatively  level  land  separates  the  barren  paloeozoic 
mountain  ranges  of  England  and  Wales  from  the  uplands  and  plains  which  occupy 
the  entire  eastern  part  of  the  country.  Spreading  over  the  whole  of  Central 
England,  this  level  tract  extends  along  the  eastern  foot  of  the  Pennine  range  to 
the  coast  of  Yorkshire,  merges  on  the  west  into  the  wide  plain  of  Cheshire  and 
Lancashire,  and  can  be  traced  southwards  into  the  valley  of  the  Severn,  and  beyond, 
through  the  vale  of  Taunton  and  other  low-lying  districts,  to  the  south  coast  of 
Devonshire.  Nearly  the  whole  of  this  extensive  region  is  occupied  by  the  sand- 
stones, limestones,  clays,  and  marls  of  the  triassic  and  liassic  formations,  the 
harder  of  these  rocks  often  rising  into  minor  escarpments  facing  westwards,  and 
overlooking  rich  undulating  meadow  lands  and  cultivated  fields. 

On  the  east  these  plains  and  undulating  grounds  are  bounded  by  an  oolitic 
limestone  range,  which  traverses  England  from  the  coast  of  Dorsetshire  to  the 
estuary  of  the  Tees,  presenting  a  bold  escarpment  towards  the  west,  on  ascending 
which  we  find  ourselves  upon  an  undulating  table-land,  mostly  occupied  by  sheep 
pastures.  The  Cotswold  Hills,  which  bound  the  vale  of  Gloucester,  and  the 
moorlands  of  Yorkshire,  far  away  in  the  north,  both  belong  to  this  formation. 
Around  the  Wash  it  disappears  beneath  the  alluvial  flats  of  the  Bedford  level,  but 
everywhere  else  it  dips  below  the  chalk,  which  forms  so  prominent  a  feature' in 
the  physical  geography  of  South-eastern  England. 

The  chalk,  like  the  oolitic  limestone,  generally  presents  a  bold  escarpment 
towards  the  west.  It  is  most  extensively  developed  on  the  plain  of  Salisbury. 
From  this,  as  a  centre,  the  ranges  of  chalk  diverge  in  different  directions.  The 
South  Downs  stretch  along  the  coast  of  the  Channel  as  far  as  Beachy 
Head.  The  North  Downs  bound  the  valley  of  the  Thames  on  the  south,  and 
terminate  in  the  cliffs  of  Dover.  A  third  range  extends  to  the  north-eastward, 
forming  the  Marlborough  Downs,  the  Chiltern  Hills,  and  the  East  Anglian 
Heights,  which  terminate  with  Hunstanton  Clifi^,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Wash,  but 
once  again  rise  to  the  north  of  that  shallow  bay  in  the  wolds  of  Lincoln  and 
York. 

Clays,  sands,  limestones,  and  crag  of  the  tertiary  age  overlie  the  chalk  in  the  so- 
called  basins  of  London  and  Hampshire ;  but  between  the  North  and  South  Downs 
the  chalk  has  been  removed  by  denudation,  and  the  subjacent  strata  which  occupy 
the  district  known  as  the  Weald  have  been  laid  bare.     Bounded  by  escarpments  of 

*  Culminating  summits  of  mountain  groups  of  Great  Britaia  : — 

Northern  Highlands,  Ben  Wyvis 3,422  feet. 

Grampians,  Ben  Nevis 4,406  „ 

„  Ben  Muich  (Mac)  Dhui 4,296  „ 

Hills  of  South  Scotland,  Merrick 2,764  „ 

Cheviot 2,669  „ 

Pennine  Chain,  Cross  FeU 2,928  „ 

Cambrian  mountains,  Sea  Fell 3,230  „ 

Welsh  mountains,  Snowdon 3,590  „ 

Mountains  of  Devonshire  and  Cornwall,  Yes  Tor  (Dartmoor)      .     .     .  2,077  „ 


12  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

chalk,  this  area  of  denudation  opens  out  like  an  ancient  bay  upon  the  English 
Channel.   Its  level  parts  consist  of  clav,  above  which  rises  a  central  ridge  composed 

of  Hastings  sands.* 

Quite  as  striking  as  the  contrast  between  the  rugged  mountain  regions  which 
occupy  North  Britain  and  the  west  of  England  is  the  difference  of  aspect  presented 
by  the  opposite  coasts  of  the  island.     The  east  coast  is  of  uniform  contour,  and 

Fig.  6.— Geological  Map  of  South-Eastern  England. 
According  to  Best.    Scale  1  :  3,350.000. 


^a 


2.  Upper  Tertiary.        3.  London  Clay,  &c. 


4.  Chalk.  5  &  6.  Greensand  and  Gait. 

■ 


12.  Permian. 


13.  Carboniferous. 


9.  Lias. 
14.  Devonian. 


lO&ll.  Triassic. 


15.  Silurian. 


50  Miles. 


almost  devoid  of  natural  harbours,  but  their  absence  is  somewhat  compensated  for 
by  the  existence  of  estuaries ;  the  approaches  to  these,  however,  are  often  rendered 


♦  Culminating  points  of  the  uplands  of  Eastern  England : — 
Oolitic  Limestone  Ranges 


Cretaceou.s  Ranges    . 


Cotswold  Hills,  Cleeve  Hill    .     .     .     . 

1,134  feet 

York  Moors,  Botton  Head  .... 

1,498    „ 

South  Downs,  Butser  Hill  .... 

883    „ 

North  Downs,  Inkpen  Beacon     .     . 

973    „ 

LeithHill   .... 

967    „ 

Chiltern  Hills,  Wendover  Hill    .     . 

905   „ 

I 


GEOLOaY  AND  SURFACE  FEATURES. 


13 


dangerous  by  shoals  and  sand-banks.  Marshes  and  shelving  beaches  are  frequent 
along  it,  and  the  cliffs  being  for  the  most  part  composed  of  chalk,  clay,  or  sand, 
and  unable  to  resist  the  assaults  of  the  ocean,  crumble  away.  In  many  places  the 
sea  gains  upon  the  land  rapidly. 

Very  different  are  the  features  of  the  western  coast.  Its  contour  exhibits  far 
greater  variety.  In  Scotland  more  especially  it  is  indented  by  numerous  sea 
lochs,  bounded  by  bold  mountains,  reminding  us  of  the  fiords  of  Norway.  "Whilst 
along  the  whole  of  the  eastern  coast  there  is  but  one  island  of  any  note,  the  western 
coast  of  Scotland  is  skirted  by  the  double  chain  of  the  Hebrides,  the  Isle  of  Man 
occupies  the  centre  of  the  Irish  Sea,  and  Anglesey  lies  off  the  coast  of  Wales. 
There  are  not  wanting  low  sandy  shores  and  tracts  of  marshy  land,  but  bold  cliffs 

Fig.  7. — The  Stack  Rocks,  South  Wales. 


form  its  characteristic  feature.  Being  composed  of  solid  rocks,  these  headlands  are 
better  able  to  resist  the  wasting  action  of  the  sea  than  are  the  soft  cliffs  along  the 
east  coast.  Yet  that  waste,  however  slow,  is  going  on  here  also  is  proved  by 
the  detached  masses  of  rock  known  as  "  Needles  "  or  "  Stacks,"  which  stand  apart 
from  the  cliffs  from  which  tbey  have  been  severed  by  the  erosive  action  of  the 
tides  and  waves. 

The  south-east  coast  of  England  resembles  the  east,  but  the  western  rises  into 
bold  cliffs  of  old  red  sandstone  and  granite.  It  is  deficient  in  natural  harbours, 
and  cliffs  of  chalk  alternate  with  stretches  of  marsh  and  flat  tracts  of  clay  ;  but 
immediately  to  the  west  of  Selsey  Bill  the  safe  roadstead  of  Spithead  opens  out 
between  the  mainland  and  the  Isle  of  Wight,  communicating  with  the  spacious 
harbour  of  Portsmouth  and  the  well- sheltered  estuary  leading  up  to  Southampton. 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

Chatham  and  Portsmouth  as  a  great  naval  station. 

If  we  now  turn  to  a  consideration  of  the  principal  features  of  Ireland,  we 
JlZ  thai  they  differ  essentially  from  those  presented  by  the  more  favoured 
Itter  Island.     Less 'varied  in  its  contour,  it  exhibits  likewise  greater  simplicity  in 

Fig.  8.— Plymouth  Sound  and  the  Hamoaze. 

From  an  Admiralty  Chart.    Scale  1  :  150.000.  


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2  Miles. 


its  geological  structure.  Broadly  speaking,  it  may  be  described  as  consisting  of  a 
great  central  plain  of  carboniferous  limestone,  stretching  across  from  sea  to  sea, 
and  bounded  in  nearly  all  directions  by  mountain  masses  composed  of  tbe  most  ancient 
geological  formations.*  The  highlands  of  the  north-east,  north-west,  and  west 
consist  of  the  same  crystalline  and  Silurian  rocks  which  are  so  extensively  developed 
in  Scotland.  The  south-eastern  highlands  likewise  consist  of  Silurian  strata  pene- 
trated by  granite,  and  overlying  Cambrian  rocks,  thus  repeating  the  features  which 


*  E.  Hull,  "The  Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Ireland." 


EIVERS  AND  LAKES. 


15 


distinguish  North-western  Wales,  on  the  other  side  of  St.  George's  Channel.  But 
whilst  in  Wales  the  old  red  sandstone  occupies  the  region  to  the  east  of  the  more 
ancient  rocks,  it  extends  in  Ireland  to  the  south-west,  rising  into  a  succession  of 
ranges,  amongst  which  lies  the  culminating  point  of  the  entire  island.* 

The  geological  formations  which  in  Great  Britain  intervene  between  the  old 
red  sandstone  and  the  upper  tertiary  beds  are  in  Ireland  either  wanting  alto- 
gether, or  occur  only  sparingly,  being  confined  to  the  north-east  of  the  island,  where 
they  crop  out  beneath  the  vast  sheet  of  basalt  which  forms  the  striking  scenery 
along  the  coast  of  Antrim. 

In  its  coast-line  Ireland  presents  features  analogous  to  those  of  Great  Britain. 
The  eastern  coast  is  mostly  flat,  and  obstructed  by  sunken  rocks  and  sand-banks, 


Fig.  9. — Comparative  Size  of  some  British  and  Foreign  Lakes. 


IH-ELAND.  SCOTLAND.       C0MBRIA14        WALES. 

Lo5;uiV.        Lower'       L.^Ree        ^-^^^^asU  ^  W'.s. 


L  .  Lomond 


whilst  the  western  coast,  facing  the  open  Atlantic,  abounds  in  deep  inlets,  or 
fiords,  separated  by  rocky  peninsulas  terminating  in  bold  headlands.  There  are 
many  excellent  harbours,  but,  owing  to  their  remoteness  from  seats  of  industry, 
they  are  little  frequented. 

Rivers  and  Lakes. 

Compared  with  the  rivers  of  Continental  Europe,  those  of  Great  Britain  are  inferior 

in  length  of  course,  volume,  and  the  extent  of  the  basins  they  drain ;  but  when  we 

consider  the  facilities  they  ofi'er  for  navigation,  those  of  England,  at  all  events, 

*  Culminating  summits  in  Ireland  : — 

North-eastern  highlands,  Slieve  Donard  (Mourne) 2,796  feet. 

North-western  highlands,  Errigal  (Donegal) 2,466    „ 

Western  highlands,  Muilrea  (Mayo) 2,688    „ 

South-eastern  highlands,  Lugnaquilla  (Wicklow) 3,039    „ 

South-western  highlands,  Carrantuohill  (Kerry) 3,414    „ 


jg  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

are  to  be  preferred.  Rising  in  hills  and  uplands  of  moderate  elevation,  they 
are  less  exposed  to  changes  of  level  and  floods  than  continental  rivers  whose  sources 
lie  in  rocky  mountains,  covered  during  part  of  the  year  with  masses  of  snow. 
Wales  and  Scotland  are  less  favourably  situated  in  this  respect.  Their  rivers, 
unlike  those  of   England,    rise  amongst  elevated    hills,    and    traverse  narrow 

Fiff   10  —The  River  Basins  of  the  British  Isles. 


valleys,  their  rapid  course  being  often  impeded  by  ledges  of  rocks.  The  rain  runs 
quickly  off  the  impervious  rocks  which  occupy  the  greater  part  of  their  drainage 
basins,  and  hence  they  are  liable  to  sudden  overflowings.  All  this  renders  them 
unfit  for  navigation.  The  rivers  of  Ireland  resemble  those  of  England,  in  as  far 
as  they  generally  flow  through  a  flat  country,  are  rarely  rapid,  and  seldom  inter- 
rupted by  cataracts ;  but  they  difler  from  them  in  frequently  traversing  lakes. 


CLIMATE. 


17 


The  largest  of  these  is  Lough  Neagh,  which  covers  an  area  of  156  square  miles, 
whilst  Loch  Lomond,  the  most  extensive  Highland  lake,  only  spreads  over  45. 
But  size  is  not  beauty,  and  few  of  the  lakes  of  Ireland  can  compare  with 
those  of  the  Highlands  and  the  Cumbrian  hills  in  their  picturesque  surroundings. 
Yet  even  the  largest  of  the  Irish  lakes  is  insignificant  if  we  contrast  it  with  the 
vast  sheets  of  fresh  water  met  with  in  other  countries,  more  especially  in  North 
America. 

A  line  drawn  through  Great  Britain  to  mark  the  water-parting  between  the  rivers 
which  empty  into  the  German  Ocean  and  those  flowing  towards  the  west  will  be 
found  to  divide  the  island  into  two  unequal  portions,  the  larger  of  which  lies  to  the 
east.  Nearly  all  the  great  rivers  flow  in  that  direction,  the  Severn  forming 
the  only  notable  exception.  In  Ireland,  on  the  other  hand,  the  drainage  is  prin- 
cipally to  the  westward  and  southward,  the  Boyne  being  the  only  river  of  any 
importance  which  flows  into  the  Irish  Sea.* 


Climate. 

Great  are  the  advantages  which  the  British  Isles  derive  from  the  mildness  and 
equability  of  their  climate.  Washed  by  the  tepid  waters  which  move  slowly  from 
the  tropical  seas  towards  the  Arctic  Ocean,  they  form  part  of  the  domain  of  the 
Atlantic,  whose  humid  atmosphere  envelops  them.  Nowhere  else  in  the  world, 
except  in  the  Faroe  Isles  and  on  the  western  coast  of  Norway,  does  the  actual 
temperature  differ  to  the  same  extent  from  the  temperature  which  might  be  looked 
for  from  the  geographical  position  of  the  country  with  reference  to  the  equator. 
In  no  other  instance  do  the  isothermal  lines  sweep  so  far  to  the  northward.  The 
mean  annual  temperature  of  Ireland,  under  lat.  52°  N.,  is  the  same  as  that  of  the 
eastern  coast  of  America,  980  miles  farther  south,  under  lat.  38°,  and  the  winters 
in  the  extreme  north  of  Scotland  are  as  mild  as  in  the  New  World,  20°  of  latitude 
nearer  to  the  equator. 

*  The  principal  river  basins  of  the  British  Islands,  including  all  those  having  an  area  of  over  1,000 
square  miles  :- 

Area  in      Length 
Sq.  Miles,  in  Miles. 
Great  Britain  :  Western  Watershed. 

Severn 8,119         186 

Severn  proper 4,350 

Avon  of  Bristol       ....        891 
Wye 1,609 


Area  in  Length 
Sq.  Miles,  in  Miles. 
Eastern  Watershed. 


1,190 
765 

2,250 
645 

1,870 

1,083 


GrREAT  Britain 

Spey 

Dee  of  Aberdeen  . 

Tay 

Forth      .... 
Tweed    .... 

Tyne 

Humber 9,293 

Trent 4,052 

Ouse 4,207 

Witham 1,050 

Nen 1,055 

Great  Ouse .     2,766 

Yare  and  Waveney 1,210 

Thames  and  Medway     ....     5,935 


96 

87 

107 

60 

96 

73 

204 

167 

vn 

89 
99 

156 
81 

215 


Great  Britain  :  Southern  Watershed. 
Avon  of  Salisburv 1.132  67 


Usk 

Mersey  . 
Eden  .  . 
Clyde      . 


158 
62 

135 
65 
85 


540 

1,722 

995  69 

1,580  98 

Ireland. 

Boyne 1,040  70 

Earrow,  Suir,  and  Nore      .     .     .  3,555  119 

Blackwater 1,284  104 

Shannon. 6,060  225 

Corrib 1,212  64 

Erne 1,689  64 

Foyle 1,129  73 

Bann 2,242  85 


18 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


In  summer,  when  the  temperature  of  the  air  is  higher  than  that  of  the  ocean, 
the  latter  exercises  a  moderating  influence  upon  the  degree  of  heat,  more  especially 
in  the  west.  Only  in  the  inland  counties  and  on  part  of  the  east  coast  do  we  meet 
with  features  reminding  us  of  a  continental  climate.  The  temperature  during 
that  season  decreases  with  a  considerable  degree  of  uniformity  from  63°  Fahr.,  in 
the  Thames  valley,  to  54°  in  the  Orkneys,  and  the  isothermals  run  across  the 
country  from  east  to  west. 

Very  different  are  the  climatic  conditions  of  winter,  for  it  is  then  that  the  tepid 
waters  of  the  Atlantic,  by  considerably  raising  the  temperature  of  the  air,  exercise 


Fig.  11.— Isothermal  Lines  for  July  and  January. 
According  to  Alexander  Buchan. 


'SoyVoPGir 


Temperature  of  July. 


Temperature  of  January. 


more  powerfully  their  beneficent  influence.  The  isothermal  lines,  instead  of  turn- 
ing east  and  west,  then  almost  follow  the  direction  of  the  meridians,  and  the  mean 
temperature  of  the  Orkney  Islands  is  hardly  inferior  to  that  of  London,  situated 
over  500  miles  to  the  south.  In  the  eastern  part  of  Great  Britain,  and  more 
especially  in  that  portion  of  it  which  lies  between  the  Naze  and  the  Firth  of  Forth, 
the  winter  is  coldest,  owing  to  the  greater  exposure  to  easterly  winds  blowing  from 
the  ice-clad  plains  of  the  continent,  as  well  as  to  the  lower  temperature  of  the 
German  Ocean,*   whilst  the  warm  westerly   winds  are  shut  out    by  meridional 

•  Temperature  of  the  Atlantic  in  January,  on  the  north-west  coast  of  Scotland,  U°  Fahr  or  5° 
warmer  than  the  air.  Temperature  of  the  northern  part  of  the  German  Ocean,  41°,  or  2°  warmer  than 
the  air. 


CLIMATE.  19 

mountain  ranges.  January  is  a  far  colder  month  on  the  banks  of  the  Thames  than 
in  the  Hebrides,  and  plants  which  the  frosts  of  Middlesex  would  kill  flourish 
in  these  islands  in  the  open  air,  even  in  midwinter.*  Yet  it  happens  but 
rarely  that  the  larger  rivers  become  ice-bound,  and  a  sight  such  as  the  Thames 
presented  in  February,  1814,  when  it  was  frozen  over  above  London  Bridge,  and 
placards  announced  that  there  was  a  ''safe  pathway  over  the  river  to  Bankside,"i8 
not  likely  to  be  seen  again,  since  it  was  due  in  some  measure  to  old  London  Bridge, 
with  its  narrow  arches,  which  now  no  longer  obstructs  the  free  passage  of  the  river. 
The  winter  temperature  is  mildest  on  the  southern  coasts  of  Devonshire  and  Corn- 
wall, and  there  the  myrtle  and  other  sub-tropical  plants  flourish  in  the  open  air  all 
the  year  round. 

Snow  and  ice  are  known,  of  course,  and  the  quantity  of  the  former  which 
occasionally  falls  in  Northern  England  and  in  the  Scotch  Highlands  is  great. 
It  is  rare,  however,  for  the  thermometer  to  fall  below  18°  Fahr.,  and  rarer  still 
for  such  a  degree  of  cold  to  continue  for  any  length  of  time.  The  difference 
between  the  mean  temperature  of  the  coldest  and  warmest  months  hardly  ever 
exceeds  25°  Fahr.,  and  in  South-western  England  it  does  not  amount  to  19°  Fahr. 
This  is  very  little  when  compared  with  places  on  the  continent,  for  at  Paris 
and  Rome  it  amounts  to  30°  Fahr.,  at  Berlin  to  36°  Fahr.,  and  at  Vienna  to 
40°  Fahr.  The  daily  range  of  the  summer  temperature  in  Shetland,  the  Orkneys, 
and  the  Hebrides,  which  enjoy  perhaps  the  most  insular  climate  in  Europe,  is  only 
about  10°  Fahr.  On  the  west  shore  of  Great  Britain  it  rises  to  12°  and  14°  Fahr., 
in  the  central  districts  to  15°  Fahr.,  and  in  the  south  to  20°  Fahr.  At  Paris  and 
other  places  on  the  continent  it  is  much  higher,  f 

The  direction  of  the  winds  naturally  exercises  an  important  influence  upon 
temperature,  no  less  than  upon  the  distribution  and  amount  of  rain.  The  westerly 
winds,  which  preponderate  throughout  the  year,  and  more  especially  in  summer 
and  autumn,  carry  with  them  the  warmth  and  moisture  of  the  Atlantic.     Easterly 

*  Ramsay,  "  Physical  Geography  and  Geology  of  the  British  Isles." 

t  Mean  TEMPERATtrRE  in  Degrees  Fahrenheit. 

Latitude. 

Sandwich  (Orkneys) .     .  59°5' 

Aherdeen 57°9' 

Glasgow 55°oV 

Edinburgh 55°27' 

Carlisle 5i°5i' 

York 63°51' 

Manchester 53°29' 

Liverpool     5 3° 25' 

Dublin 53°21' 

Birmingham     .     .     .     .  52°o5' 

Limerick 52''39' 

Oxford 5r46' 

Swansea SFSS' 

London ol°SO' 

Gosport 60°47' 

Plymouth 50°22' 

Penzance 50°  7' 


Winter. 
39-1° 

Sprin|. 
43-9° 

Summer. 
54-3° 

Autumn. 

47-5° 

Year. 
46-2° 

Difference  be- 
tween coldest 
and  warmest 

Month. 

17-2° 

38-9 

48-2 

57-3 

49-9 

48-6 

22-6 

39-7 

46-5 

60-1 

44-4 

47-7 

23-0 

38-4 

450 

57-1 

47-8 

47-1 

21-3 

37-2 

454 

57-4 

47-8 

47-0 

22-3 

36-3 

49-4 

62-4 

48-6 

49-2 

24-8 

38-3 

47-4 

59-8 

49-7 

48-8 

24-1 

41-3 

49-3 

61-1 

51-5 

60-8 

21-7 

40-6 

48-5 

61-0 

500 

50-0 

17-7 

38-8 

49-0 

61-5 

50-4 

50-0 

25-2 

41-6 

48-5 

58-6 

49  2 

49-5 

18-7 

37-0 

47-2 

60-4 

50-0 

48-6 

24-2 

4o-5 

49-7 

63-7 

56-0 

53-7 

24-4 

39-5 

49-1 

62-9 

51-8 

50-8 

26-7 

40-0 

50-1 

62-7 

53-4 

51-8 

25-0 

44-9 

49-7 

60-9 

52-9 

521 

17-4 

44-2 

49-3 

60-9 

52-7 

51-8 

19-5 

20 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


winds  are  most  frequent  between  January  and  May.  They  are  dry  and  cold, 
checking  the  vegetation  in  spring,  and  are  frequently  productive  of  those  dense 
fogs  which  have  given  the  British  climate  so  unenviable  a  reputation. 

To  the  annual  amount  of  rain,  and  its  distribution  over  the  year,  the  British 
Isles  are  largely  indebted  for  their  fertility,  and  under  this  beneficent  influence 
even  naturally  sterile  tracts,  which  in  many  other  countries  would  present  an 
aspect  of  desolation,  become  covered  with  a  carpet  of  verdure,  and  afi'ord  at  least 
succulent  pasturage  to  sheep.  Even  in  the  eastern  counties,  which  are  less 
exposed  to  the  westerly  moisture-laden  winds,  the  rainfall  is  ample,  and  numerous 
rivers  and  rivulets  irrigate  the  soil.  On  an  average  far  more  rain  falls  than  in 
France,*  and  though,  owing  to  the  greater  humidity  of  the  atmosphere,  the 
amount  of  evaporation  is  less,  the  area  occupied  by  marshes  is  of  small  extent 
In  England   this   circumstance   is   due   to   the   undulations   of   the    soil,  which 


Fig.  12.- 

Diagram  exhibiting 

THE  Annual  March 

OF  Temperat 

UBE. 

'de^g. 

jan. 

Febr. 

March. 

April. 

May. 

June. 

July. 

Aug. 

Sept. 

Oct. 

Nov. 

Dec. 

^ . 

^ 

oA 

'V^-S 

^^«    ^^ 

;/^- 

^-iJ 

>s 

-dU— 

.) 

T-"  r.j 

j^\  u    fc 

-^.. 

.0°/- 

■    > 

,r>/o 

-^^^ 

\, 

A^' 

^-■---. 

\"' 

J 

/'''    / 

'^^^' . 

■3^ 

\-- 

'     \  ■*- 

Kl\° 

// 

/.- 

'  yk>- 

\^y 

\ 

^\\  " 

"^••s 

/ 

//- . 

'^<^^' 

^'\ 

,c» 

^'  y. 

-4v-° 

\ 

\.  " . 

•-?«-., 

aea.... 

-.•-r.*-'.": 

::-.^ 

r-g<0-v 

^5 

k\. 

y  . 

y\ 

^*^^ 

^^ 

yy 

^ 

^^-*. 

s:~->^ 

/"^^..^ 

^ 

82° 

facilitate  the  drainage  of  the  land ;  whilst  in  Ireland  the  surplus  waters  collect 
in  lakes,  occupying  rocky  cavities,  or  are  sucked  up  by  peat  bogs,  without  filling 
the  air  with,  pestiferous  miasmata. 

The  rainfall  is  most  considerable  in  the  west,  because  the  mountain  ranges 
extending  north  and  south  intercept  the  westerly  winds  which  travel  across  the  wide 
expanse  of  the  Atlantic,  and  compel  them  to  part  with  most  of  the  moisture  they 
carry.  In  Ireland  the  quantity  of  rain  increases  gradually  as  we  proceed  from  the 
west  to  the  east  coast,  and  the  same  phenomenon,  on  a  larger  scale,  may  be  observed 
in  Great  Britain.  Nowhere  else  is  the  influence  which  mountain  ranges  exercise 
upon  the  distribution  of  rain  more  strikingly  exhibited,  its  amount  being  in  every 
case  most  considerable  along  the  western  slope.  At  Whitehaven,  which  lies  at 
the  western  foot  of  the  Cumbrian  hUls,  the  annual  fall  of  rain  is  47  inches,  whilst 


*  Average  rainfall  in  France  (Delesse) 
M  M  Oreat  Britain 

„  „  Ireland 


30  inches. 
33       „ 
36       „ 


CLIMATE. 


21 


at  York,  beyond  the  Pennine  range,  it  is  only  29  inches.  Still  more  considerable 
are  the  differences  between  the  lowlands  and  the  mountainous  districts.  In  the 
west  of  Great  Britain  and  in  Ireland,  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  high 
hills,  the  average  rainfall  is  from  80  to  150  inches,  and  in  certain  localities  it  is 
higher.  Thus  at  the  Stye,  in  Cumberland,  950  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea, 
224  inches  of  rain  fell  in  1866,  a  quantity  immensely  in  excess  of  what  has  been 
recorded  in  any  other  part  of  the  temperate  zone,  and  exceeded  only  by  the 
downpour  at  certain  localities  lying  within  the  topics.* 

It  was  Mr.  Dalton  who  first  observed  that  the  rainfall  in  the  British  Isles  is 
most  considerable  in  autumn,  and  not  in  summer,  as  in  Central  Europe.  There 
are,  however,  a  few  stations  where,  owing  to  local  causes,  the  maximum  occurs  in 
winter  or  in  summer. 

The  variability  and  uncertainty  of  the  climate  of  Great  Britain  are  frequently 
dwelt  upon  as  a  great  disadvantage,  but  a  dispassionate  inquiry,  and,  above  all,  a 
comparison  with  other  lands,  popularly  supposed  to  be  more  favourably  circum- 
stanced, must  convince  us  that  there  are  equal  countervailing  advantages.  Sudden 
changes  of  temperature  and  moisture  may  prove  hurtful  in  the  case  of  certain 
diseases,  but  the  climate  upon  the  whole  is  favourable  to  the  development  of  the 
physical  powers,  and  hence  of  the  moral  and  intellectual  endowments  of  man. 
King  Charles  II.  was  not  far  wrong  when,  in  answer  to  some  disparaging  remarks 
of  his  courtiers,  who  extolled  the  climates  of  Italy,  Spain,  and  France,  at  the 
expense  of  that  of  England,  he  said  he  thought  "that  was  the  best  climate 
where  he  could  be  abroad  in  the  air  with  pleasure,  or  at  least  without  trouble  and 
inconvenience,  the  most  days  of  the  year  and  the  most  hours  of  the  day  ;  and  this 
he  thought  he  could  be  in  England  more  than  in  any  other  country  in  Europe."  t 


.*  Average  Eainfall  in  Inches. 

Winter.  Spring.  Summer.  Autumn.     Year. 

Eastern  slope  of  Great  Britain  : — 

EdinlDurgh 5-8          5-3  6-7  T'i  25 

York 5-1           5-1  7-1  11-4  28 

Oxford 4-8           4-5  7*1  7-3  23 

London 4-0          3-8  5-6  5-8  19 

HuU 3-2           2-1  7-0  5-8  18 

South  Coast : — 

Gosport 8-2          6-9  7'1  10-1  32 

Penzance 14-1           9*4  8-4  14-0  45 

Western  slope  of  Great  Britain :  — 

Liverpool 7*3           6*2  9-8  10-8  34 

Manchester 8*1           6-9  9-9  10-6  35 

Lancaster 11-2           6-4  112  11*7  40 

Kendal 16-1           9-6  12-7  15-3  53 

Seathwaite  (Borrowdale)      .     .     43-0  22-8  33*2  43-2  142 

Whitehaven 12-7           7-1  13-7  13-8  47 

Glasgow 5-3           3-7  6-4  5*8  21 

Ireland : — 

West  Port 12-3  117  11-7  10-1  45 

Limerick 7*7           7-1  9-3  lO'l  34 

Armagh 9-6           6-8  8-9  9-4  34 

Duhlin 6-8           5-9  8-1  8-5  29 

t  Sir  W.  Temple,  Works,  iii.  p.  220. 


22  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

The  influence  of  this  cUmate  upon  the  animal  creation,  and  even  upon  the 
vegetable  kingdom,  is  as  favourable  as  upon  the  human  constitution.  The 
warmth  of  summer  is  never  so  great,  nor  is  its  accession  so  sudden,  as  to  occasion 
a  too  rapid  development  or  too  high  excitement  of  organized  bodies;  nor  the  cold 
of  winter  so  extreme  as  to  depress  their  vitality  to  an  injurious  degree.  The 
natural  formation,  soil,  and  cultivation,  with  few  exceptions,  prevent  the  generation 
of  marsh  effluvia,  whilst  the  fresh   and   strong  westerly  winds  which   prevaol, 

Fig.  13.— Eain  Map  of  the  British  Isles. 
According  to  Symons.    Scale  1  :  10,600,000. 


ENGLISH 


W.oF   Or 


fTTTTm  UTTMim  ■■ 

Under  25  in.   26  to  30  in.   80  to  40  in   40  to  45  in.    45  to  75  in.    Over  75  in. 


100  Miles. 


owiDg  to  the  position  of  the  country,  cause  a  continued  renewal  of  the  atmosphere, 
even  in  the  closest  and  most  crowded  streets  of  the  manufacturing  towns.* 

These  climatic  conditions  have,  moreover,  vastly  contributed  to  make  the 
British  Isles  a  geographical  whole,  and  in  amalgamating  the  various  races  by 
whom  they  are  inhabited.  In  most  other  countries  migration  is  attended  with 
considerable  risk,  and  a  period  of  acclimatization  has  usually  to  be  passed  through. 
In  Great  Britain  the  natives  of  either  England  or  Scotland  may  exchange  homes 
*  MacCulloch,  "  Statistical  Account  of  the  British  Empire,"  i. 


FLORA.  28 

without  being  inconvenienced  to  the  same  extent  as  would  Bretons  or  Proven9al8 
under  similar  circumstances.  On  the  other  hand,  foreigners  born  under  brighter 
skies  generally  complain  about  the  paleness  of  the  sun,  and  of  the  fogs,  which  in 
some  of  the  towns,  where  they  are  impregnated  with  the  smoke  rising  from  thou- 
sands of  chimneys,  are  very  dense,  and  hinder  the  free  circulation  of  the  air. 


Flora.  / 
In  its  main  features  the  British  flora  resembles  that  of  Continental  Europe,  with 
a  strong  intermingling  of  American  species,  increasing  in  number  as  we  travel 
towards  the  west.  There  are  only  a  few  plants  not  indigenous  to  Continental 
Europe,  of  which  the  most  remarkable  is  the  jointed  pipe  wort,  or  Eriocaulon 
septangular Cy  a  native  of  tropical  America,  found  in  the  Isle  of  Skye  and  in  the 
west  of  Ireland,  whither  the  gulf- stream  has  carried  it. 

The  researches  of  botanists  have  clearly  established  the  fact  that  the  existing 
flora  is  the  outcome  of  successive  floral  invasions  which  transpired  during  the 
tertiary  age,  whilst  the  British  Islands  still  formed  a  part  of  the  neighbouring 
continent.  The  first  of  these  invasions  of  surviving  species  took  place  probably  in 
the  eocene  age,  and  is  confined  to  the  hilly  parts  of  South-western  Ireland.  It  is 
an  alpine  flora,  quite  distinct  from  the  flora  of  the  Scotch  and  "Welsh  mountains, 
and  has  been  traced  to  the  Western  Pyrenees.  A  second  botanical  province 
embraces  Devonshire  and  Cornwall,  South  Wales,  and  a  considerable  portion  of 
Southern  Ireland.  When  this  flora  first  obtained,  a  footing  upon  the  British  Isles  a 
barrier  must  have  stretched  across  what  is  now  the  English  Channel  to  Brittany  and 
Normandy.  Some  of  its  most  characteristic  species  are  the  beautiful  ciliated  heath, 
the  purple  spurge,  and  the  graceful  Sibthorpia.  A  third  invasion  took  place  when 
England  was  joined  to  the  north  of  France.  This  flora  is  more  especially  deve- 
loped in  the  chalk  districts  of  South-eastern  England.  To  this  succeeded,  during 
the  glacial  period,  an  invasion  of  alpine  plants,  principally  from  Norway,  which 
survive  on  the  hills  of  Wales,  Northern  England,  and  Scotland.  When  the 
glaciers  finally  melted  away,  and  the  land  emerged  anew,  there  occurred  the 
fifth  invasion,  the  last  in  order  of  time,  but  the  most  important  in  its  influence  on 
the  character  of  British  vegetation.  This  invasion  emanated  from  Germany,  at 
that  period  joined  to  the  British  Isles  by  a  wide  plain  stretching  across  the  southern 
portion  of  the  North  Sea.  This  hardy  flora  rapidly  spread  over  the  country, 
where  it  found  a  congenial  soil ;  it  invaded  Scotland  and  Ireland,  mingled  with 
the  floras  of  more  ancient  date,  and  pushed  them  back  to  the  west  and  south-west. 

Though  Europe  has  played  the  principal  part  in  giving  to  the  British  Isles 
their  vegetable  clothing,  America,  too,  has  contributed  a  share  ;  but  whilst  the 
European  species  migrated  by  land,  those  of  American  origin  were  carried  to  these 
shores,  as  to  the  coast  of  Norway,  through  the  agency  of  the  gulf-stream,  and 
hence  they  are  most  numerous  on  the  Hebrides,  the  Orkneys,  and  the  Shetland 
Islands,  where  they  outnumber  European  species. 

Climate  has  exercised  a  paramount  influence  upon  the  distribution  of  British 


24 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


plants.  The  cool  summer  prevents  the  ripening  of  many  fruits  which  flourish  in 
countries  having  a  far  lower  mean  annual  temperature,  whilst  the  mildness  of  winter 
has  rendered  it  possible  to  naturalise  many  plants  of  southern  climes,  which  the  cold 
winter  of  the  north  of  Continental  Europe  would  kill.  Apricots,  peaches,  and  grapes 
only  ripen,  with  rare  exceptions,  when  afforded  the  shelter  of  a  wall ;  yet  myrtles 
and  other  evergreens  flourish  in  the  open  air,  and  the  strawberry-tree  {Arbutus 
unedo),  with  its  rich  foliage  and  red  berries,  forms  a  charming  feature  in  the 
woods  of  Killarney.  Many  exotics,  including  even  natives  of  the  tropics,  have 
been  successfully  introduced,  and  add  to  the  beauty  of   pleasure  grounds  and 

Fig.  14.-— Yuccas  on  Tkesco  (Scillt  Islands^. 


parks.  Cacti  grow  in  the  rocks  near  Torquay ;  the  American  aloe  flourishes  in 
Salcombe  Bay ;  magnolias  from  South  America,  proteas  from  the  Cape,  and 
camellias  from  Japan,  are  successfully  cultivated ;  and  on  Tresco,  one  of  the  Scilly 
Islands,  we  meet  with  a  fine  avenue  of  yuccas.  But  ornamental  plants  are  not 
the  only  exotics,  for  most  of  the  bread  corns,  including  wheat,  barley,  and  rye ; 
the  potato ;  much  of  the  produce  of  the  kitchen  gardens  ;  and  many  other  plants 
now  widely  cultivated,  have  been  derived  from  other  and  warmer  climates. 

In  Roman  and  Saxon  times  a  considerable  part  of  the  country  was  covered 
with   forests,  formed,   as    now,    of  oaks   and   beeches,  birches   and   Scotch    firs, 


FLOEA. 


25 


almost  to  the  exclusion  of  other  trees.  Most  of  these  forests  have  either  wholly- 
disappeared,  or  have  been  considerably  reduced  in  size.  Extensive  woods  survive, 
however,  in  portions  of  Scotland  and  England,  the  most  famous  being  the  New 
Forest  in  Hampshire,  Dean  Forest  in  Gloucestershire,  and  Sherwood  Forest  in 
Nottinghamshire.     There  the  lover  of  nature  may  still  ramble  beneath  woodland 

Fig.  16.— An  English  Homestead. 


trees,  whilst  elsewhere,  though  the  name  of  "  forest  "  is  retained,  the  trees  have 
disappeared  to  make  room  for  fields  and  pastures  ;  and  though  Great  Britain 
does  not  equal  certain  continental  countries  in  the  extent  of  its  forests,  it  is 
still  appropriately  described  as  a  "  woody  region."  From  the  southern  shore  of 
England  to  the  foot  of  the  Grampians,  beyond  the  Clyde  and  the  Tay,  and 
for   several   hundred   feet  up  the    slopes  of   the   mountains,   this  woody  region 


26 


THE  BKITISH  ISLES. 


stretches.  It  is  eloquently  described  by  Mr.  Watson*  as  -  an  undulating  plain  of 
meadows,  pastures,  and  cultivated  fields,  separated  from  each  other  by  hawthorn 
hedges  or  stone  walls,  and  thickly  interspersed  with  parks,  woods,  gardens,  towns, 
and  high-roads,  altogether  betokening  a  climate  where  man  may  attain  a  high  state 
of  civilisation,  and  live  for  ease  and  pleasure,  as  well  as  for  laborious  occupations. 
It  is  the  region  where  the  trees  flourish,  and  the  flowers,  rendered  classic  by  our  poets, 
bloom,  and  is  not  less  loved  by  many  of  us,  because  their  very  commonness  has 
made  them  familiar  by  vernacular  names,  without  the  aid  of  botanical  systems  or 
a  dead  language.  It  is,  jt)«r  excellence,  the  land  of  the  daisy  and  cowslip,  the  oak 
and  hawthorn,  the  hazel  copse  and  the  woodbine  bower :  the  region  of  fruits  and 
flowers,  where  the  trees  of  the  forest  unite  a  graceful  beauty  with  strength  and 
majesty,  and  where  the  fresh  greensward  of  the  pasture,  commingling  with  the 
yellow  waves  of  the  corn-field,  tells  to  us  that  here  at  least 

'  The  cheek  of  Spring 
Smiles  in  the  kiss  of  Autumn.' 

"  Black  swampy  moors,  such  as  deface  so  large  a  portion  of  the  next,  or  barren, 
region,  are  in  this  of  comparatively  rare  occurrence  and  small  extent.  The  downs 
and  chases  in  early  spring  are  covered  with  the  countless  blossoms  of  the  golden 
gorse,  or  the  more  gaudy  broom,  and  empurpled  with  the  different  kinds  of  heath 
during  summer  and  autumn.  Little,  indeed,  as  we  may  regard  these  shrubs,  in 
Sweden  and  North  Russia  the  gorse  is  prized  as  we  prize  the  myrtles  of  the 
south  ;  and  our  common  heaths  are  unknown  over  a  wide  extent  of  Europe.  The 
oak,  ash,  yew,  hornbeam,  alders,  elms,  poplars,  and  willows  are  the  principal  native 
trees  of  this  region  ;  the  first  four  gradually  yielding  to  the  pine,  white  birch,  and 
mouiitain  ash  as  we  approach  the  higher  portion,  forming  the  upland  zone.  The 
beech,  sycamore,  and  Spanish  chestnut  have  been  introduced,  and  the  first  two  now 
spring  up  self-sown  and  readily.  A  climate  in  which  the  heat  of  summer  is  rarely 
excessive,  and  where  rain  and  clouds  are  so  frequent,  is  unadapted  to  the  spon- 
taneous growth  of  fruits,  and  we  accordingly  find  our  native  productions  poor  in 
the  extreme.  The  wild  cherry,  crab,  bullace,  and  native  pear  are  the  arborescent 
fruit  trees.  The  raspberry,  strawberry,  blackberry,  sloe,  hazel  nut,  hip  and  haw, 
form  a  very  indifferent  catalogue  for  our  shrubby  and  herbaceous  fruit  plants.  The 
cranberry,  bilberry,  and  crowberry,  with  the  fruit  of  the  mountain  ash  and  juniper, 
common  to  this  and  the  barren  region,  are  greatly  surpassed  by  one  fruit,  almost 
peculiar  to  the  latter,  viz.  the  cloudberry.  Lastly,  the  different  kinds  of  goose- 
berries and  currants  cultivated  in  our  gardens  are  probably  derived  from  species 
indigenous  to  Britain,  and  are  very  apt  to  spring  up  in  our  woods  and  hedges  from 
translated  seeds." 

When  we  leave  these  smiling  lowlands,  so  characteristic  of  England,  we  pass 
through  an  upland  affording  excellent  pasturage  for  sheep  and  cattle,  and  finally 
enter  the  barren  tracts  of  moorlands  and  peat  bogs,  which  cover  a  wide  area  in  the 
Highlands  of  Scotland,  no  less  than  in  the  mountain  regions  of  England  and  Wales. 

*  "  Distribution  of  British  Plants." 


FAUNA.  27 


Fauna. 


The  British  fauna  has  undergone  many  vicissitudes  in  the  course  of  ages.  Not 
only  have  large  mammals,  which  we  know  to  have  been  the  contemporaries  of  pre- 
historic man,  perished,  but  even  during  historical  times,  as  civilisation  progressed, 
and  land  was  more  and  more  brought  under  cultivation,  several  wild  animals 
have  been  exterminated.  Of  the  existence  of  such  southern  types  as  the  cave  lion, 
the  hippopotamus,  the  mammoth,  and  hyena,  or  of  the  northern  reindeer  and  the 
great  Irish  deer,  we  only  possess  records  furnished  by  deposits  in  caverns  and  river 
gravels.  The  wild  ox,  a  fierce  and  powerful  animal  of  white  colour,  which 
abounded  in  the  time  of  the  Romans,  still  browses  in  Hamilton  Forest,  near 
Cadzow  Castle,  in  Lanarkshire,  and  in  a  few  other  parks,  but  it  is  virtually  extinct 
as  a  wild  animal.  British  bears,  which  excited  much  admiration  at  Rome,  were 
last  heard  of  in  the  eleventh  century,  when  a  Gordon,  as  a  reward  for  his  valour  in 
killing  one,  was  granted  three  bears'  heads  as  a  coat  of  arms.  The  wolf,  during 
Anglo-Saxon  times,  was  a  most  destructive  animal,  and,  to  encourage  its  exter- 
mination, wolves'  tongues  were  accepted  in  expiation  of  certain  crimes,  and  in 
payment  of  the  tribute  exacted  from  the  Welsh.  But  it  survived,  for  all  that,  for 
many  centuries  afterwards,  and  the  last  was  killed  in  Scotland  in  1680,  and  in 
Ireland  only  in  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century.  The  wild  boar  was 
extirpated  at  the  time  of  the  Civil  War,  having  been  preserved  up  till  then  as  a 
favourite  animal  of  chase.  The  beaver,  even  at  the  time  when  Giraldus  Cambrensis 
travelled  in  Wales,  in  1188,  had  become  scarce,  and  was  confined  to  a  few  rivers 
of  that  principality  ;  and  birds,  though  far  better  able  than  land  animals  to  elude 
their  pursuers,  have  become  extinct  almost  within  the  memory  of  man.  The  original 
capercailzie,  or  great  cock  of  the  wood,  still  frequent  in  Europe,  and  formerly  in 
the  fir  woods  of  Scotland  and  Ireland,  has  not  been  seen  since  1760,  whilst  the  great 
bustard  {Otis  tarda)  has  disappeared  more  recently.  The  latter  had  its  last  home 
on  the  downs  of  Wiltshire. 

The  only  wild  carnivorous  quadrupeds  still  forming  part  of  the  British  fauna 
are  the  fox,  the  badger,  the  otter,  the  weasel,  the  polecat,  the  stoat,  the  marten, 
and  the  wild  cat.  All  of  these  have  become  scarce,  and  the  fox,  at  all  events, 
would  have  been  exterminated  long  ago,  if  it  were  not  for  the  protection  extended 
to  it  by  the  lovers  of  field  sports. 

The  ruminating  animals  are  represented  by  the  stag,  or  red  deer,  the  roebuck, 
and  the  fallow  deer,  the  latter  now  extending  to  Ireland.  The  stag  is  confined 
to  the  Highlands  of  Scotland,  Exmoor  Forest,  and  the  woods  of  Killarney,  but 
formerly  its  range  was  far  more  extensive.  Amongst  gnawing  animals  are  the 
hare,  rabbit,  squirrel,  and  dormouse,  together  with  a  large  variety  of  rats  and 
mice,  whilst  the  insect  eaters  include  the  hedgehog  and  the  mole,  which  are  general 
in  fields  and  heaths  throughout  England. 

Very  considerable  is  the  number  of  birds,  not  in  species  only,  but  also  in 
individuals,  and  since  legislation  has  spread  its  sheltering  mantle  over  most  of 
them,  the  day  when   British  woods  and  fields  will  be   without  their  feathered 


28  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

songsters  is  probably  a  very  remote  one.  Many  of  these  birds  are  stationary ; 
others  only  visit  the  British  Isles  during  part  of  the  year.  Amongst  stationary 
birds  are  many  sweet  songsters — including,  thrushes,  finches,  linnets,  blackbirds, 
and  skylarks — robins  and  sparrows,  rooks,  crows,  and  starlings,  the  latter 
devouring  prodigious  quantities  of  slugs,  worms,  &c.,  so  noxious  to  the  farmer, 
whilst  others  render  themselves  equally  useful  by  keeping  within  bounds  the 
myriads  of  insects.  In  this  task  they  are  aided  by  numerous  songsters  and 
other  birds  which  arrive  as  the  heralds  of  spring,  and  return  to  more  congenial 
climates  in  the  fall  of  the  year.  Amongst  these  birds  of  passage  are  the  swallow, 
the  cuckoo,  the  martin,  the  quail,  the  stork  (a  very  rare  visitor),  and  the  nightin- 
gale, which  occasionally  extends  its  wanderings  as  far  as  Yorkshire,  but  never 
crosses  over  to  Ireland.  Other  birds,  whose  breeding-places  are  in  the  arctic 
regions,  visit  the  British  Islands  in  winter.  Most  prominent  among  these  are 
fieldfares,  woodcocks,  snipes,  swans,  ducks,  geese,  and  a  variety  of  aquatic  birds. 
Amongst  game  birds  the  partridge,  the  black  grouse  or  heath-fowl,  and  the  red 
grouse  or  moorfowl  are  the  most  common,  the  first  named  increasing  with  extend- 
ing cultivation,  whilst  the  latter  two  are  confined  to  the  wild  moorlands  of 
Northern  England,  Scotland,  and  Ireland.  The  ptarmigan,  which  had  a  wide 
range  formerly,  occurs  now  only  in  the  wildest  parts  of  Scotland  and  in  the 
Hebrides.     The  pheasant,  like  most  of  the  domesticated  birds,  is  of  foreign  origin. 

Birds  of  prey  become  scarcer  every  day,  but  the  golden  eagle  still  frequents 
the  high  mountain  regions,  whilst  the  sea  eagle  is  common  along  the  western 
shore,  from  the  Shetland  Islands  as  far  as  South  Wales. 

Frogs  and  toads  abound  in  certain  localities,  but  reptiles  proper  are  very  scarce, 
being  confined  to  lizards,  efts,  harmless  snakes,  and  the  common  viper,  or  adder, 
the  latter  alone  being  venomous.     In  Ireland  there  are  no  snakes. 

The  seas  and  rivers,  as  far  as  they  are  not  polluted  by  the  refuse  of  factories 
and  towns,  abound  in  fish,  Crustacea,  and  molluscs.  Amongst  sea  fish  the  most 
highly  valued  are  the  cod,  turbot,  mackerel,  herring,  pilchard,  sole,  and  haddock, 
whilst  the  rivers  and  lakes,  more  especially  in  Scotland  and  Ireland,  yield  salmon, 
trout,  char,  and  other  fish.  English  oysters  were  so  greatly  esteemed  in  antiquity 
that  they  were  sent  to  Rome,  and  ''natives"  have  lost  none  of  their  reputation  at 
the  present  day. 

Inhabitants. 

Of  the  earliest  history  of  man  as  an  inhabitant  of  the  British  Isles  there  exist 
only  geological  records,  and  these  tend  to  prove  that  his  first  advent  dates  back  to 
a  time  antecedent  to  the  great  glacial  epoch,*  but  that  he  returned  to  more 
congenial  lands  as  the  gluciation  proceeded.  By  degrees  he  adapted  himself  to 
the  severity  of  the  climate,  and,  like  the  Greenlander  of  our  own  time,  lived  in 
comparative  comfort  on  the  edges  of  glaciers  and  snow-fields.  That  he  was  a 
contemporary  of  the  mammoth  and  other  mammals  now  extinct  is  sufficiently 
proved  by  the  discovery  of  his  rude  implements  associated  with  the  bones  of  these 
*  Ramsay,  "  Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Great  Britain." 


INHABITANTS.  29 

animals.  The  famous  Wookey  Hole,  near  Wells,  yielded  the  bones  of  various 
carnivorous  animals,  including  the  hyena,  the  wolf,  and  the  bear,  as  well  as 
those  of  the  mammoth,  rhinoceros,  reindeer,  Bos  primigenius,  gigantic  Irish  deer, 
and  horse,  together  with  rudely  shaped  implements  made  of  flint  and  burnt  bones. 
Similar  remains  have  been  unearthed  in  other  caves  and  in  older  valley  gravels, 
the  implements  in  these  instances  being  of  rude  workmanship,  such  as  are 
usually  assigned  to  the  palaeolithic  or  old  stone  age.  Far  more  frequent,  how- 
ever, has  been  the  discovery  of  polished  celts  and  other  articles  indicating  a 
higher  stage  of  civilisation.  These  relics  of  the  neolithic  age  occur  everywhere 
throughout  the  British  Isles,  from  Caithness  to  Cornwall,  and  from  the  east 
coast  of  England  to  the  west  coast  of  Ireland.  Even  in  the  bleak  Orkney  and 
Shetland  Islands,  and  all  over  the  Inner  and  Outer  Hebrides,  they  have  been 
met  with.*  Neolithic  man  was  associated  with  a  mammalian  fauna  very  difi'erent 
from  that  of  the  palaeolithic  age,  its  most  characteristic  members  being  dogs,  horses, 
pigs,  several  breeds  of  oxen,  the  bison,  the  red  deer,  and  the  great  Irish  deer. 

Still  further  and  fuller  evidence  of  the  presence  of  prehistoric  man  is  furnished 
by  sepulchral  barrows,  cairns,  and  cromlechs,  and  by  the  remains  of  human 
habitations.  The  most  interesting  amongst  these  latter  are  the  crannoges,  so 
abundant  in  Ireland  and  Scotland.  The  first  of  these  lake  dwellings  was  dis- 
covered in  1839,  in  the  small  Lake  of  Lagore,  near  Dunshaughlin,  in  the  county 
of  Meath.  Besides  the  bones  of  domestic  animals,  it  yielded  weapons  and  other 
articles  made  of  stone,  bone,  wood,  bronze,  iron,  and  silver,  thus  proving  that  it  must 
have  been  inhabited  from  the  most  remote  to  a  comparatively  recent  period ;  and 
in  reality  some  of  these  Irish  lake  dwellings  served  as  places  of  refuge  down 
to  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  century.  Those  crannoges  are  not  constructed 
on  piles  over  the  water,  like  the  lake  dwellings  of  Switzerland,  but  are  placed 
upon  islands,  in  many  instances  artificial,  and  enclosed  by  a  stockade  of  timber. 
A  narrow  causeway  generally  connected  them  with  the  land,  and  boats  cut  out 
of  a  single  piece  of  oak  have  been  found  near  them.  The  harrows,  or  artificial 
mounds  of  earth  erected  for  sepulchral  purposes,  as  well  as  the  cairm,  or  heaps 
of  stone  piled  up  with  the  same  objects,  or  as  memorials,  have  furnished  even 
more  interesting  information  on  the  ancient  inhabitants  of  the  country.  Many 
of  them  date  back  to  prehistoric  times,  but  others  have  been  constructed  since 
the  occupation  of  the  country  by  Romans  and  Saxons.  The  oldest  barrows  are 
of  a  longish  shape ;  the  skulls  found  in  them  are,  with  scarcely  an  exception, 
dolichocephalic  ;  and  most  of  the  implements  are  of  polished  stone,  or  neolithic. 
Neither  bronze  nor  iron  weapons  have  been  discovered  in  them.  According  to 
Huxley,  people  by  whom  these  barrows,  as  well  as  most  of  the  chambered  gallery 
graves,  were  erected,  were  kinsmen  of  the  Iberians  and  Aquitani.f  They  were 
a  dark  people,  and  the  Silures,  who  inhabited  South-western  England  and  the  Cas- 
siterides,  or  Tin  Islands,  belonged  to  them.  They  are  described  by  Greek  writers 
as  having  curly  hair  and  dark  complexions,  and  as  comparatively  civilised  in  their 

*  James  Geikie,  "The  Great  Ice  Age." 
t  "  Critiques  and  Addresses,"  1873. 


^„  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

habits  Of  this  dark  race  no  trace  exists  at  the  present  day,  except  perhaps  in 
'^^:^'^r^:Z:^^^^  -possessed  these  .r..r 
.hlrts  0.  the  .ost  fertile  --ts .^  -.ej^^^^^^^^  .^ra^  tl 
n  =ed  l:  Sir  =  :Z:t:^  .-  o^er-  -.  0. 
Sand  and  Scotland'as  far  as  the  Tay,  and  P^^^^P^  ;-^^?y?"5 J^^/^J 
driving  the  Gaels  into  the  more  sterile  mountainous  parts  and  mto  Ireland  In 
Western  Wales  the  Gaels,  or  "Gwyddel,"  maintained  the.r  ground  up  to  the 
iTh  century,  when  the  last  remnants  sought  a  refuge  amongst  thexr  kxnsmen  n. 


Fig.  16.-THE  -GIA^•T•8  Quoit"  at  Lanyon.  near  Penzance. 


Ireland;    but    long  before   that  time   the  great   TeutoDic   immigration,    which 
thoroughly  changed  the  character  of  the  population  of  England,  had  commenced. 

When  Julius  CaDsar  landed  in  England,  fifty-five  years  before  the  Christian 
era,  he  found  the  coast  in  the  occupation  of  blue- eyed,  fair-haired  Belgse,  who 
tilled  the  land,  kept  cattle,  and  made  use  of  copper  and  iron  rings  for  money. 
The  inland  part,  however,  was  inhabited  by  "  those  who,  according  to  existing 
tradition,  were  the  aborigines  of  the  island."  These  "  inland  people,"  Julius 
CaDsar  says  in  his  "  Commentaries,"  "  for  the  most  part  do  not  sow  corn,  but 
live  on  milk  and  flesh,  and  are  clothed  in  skins.  They  all  stain  themselves  with 
woad,  which  makes  them  of  a  blue  tinge,  and  gives  them  a  fearful  appearance  in 


INHABITANTS.  81 

battle ;  they  also  wear  their  hair  long,  and  shave  every  part  of  the  body  except 
the  head  and  the  upper  lip.  Every  ten  or  twelve  of  them  have  their  wives  in 
common,  especially  brothers  with  brothers,  and  parents  with  children ;  but 
if  any  children  are  born  they  are  accounted  the  children  of  those  by  whom 
each  maiden  was  first  espoused."  Druidism  flourished  among  these  Britons  as 
vigorously  as  with  their  kinsmen  in  Gaul.  Amongst  these  British  tribes  were 
Morinii,  Ehemi,  and  Atrebatii,  as  in  Northern  France.  The  Atrebatii  were  more 
civilised  than  the  others,  and  had  grown  wealthy  through  their  agriculture  and 
industry. 

The  Roman  occupation,  however  great  its  influence  upon  the  progress  of 
civilisation,  afiected  but  little  the  ethnical  composition  of  the  population.  When 
the  great  empire  fell  to  pieces,  and  Britain  became  a  prey  to  anarchy,  the  Teutonic 
tribes  of  Northern  Europe,  who  had  long  harassed  its  coasts,  obtained  a  permanent 
footing  in  it,  exterminating  or  reducing  to  a  state  of  servitude  the  inhabitants 
whom  they  found  dwelling  there,  or  driving  them  to  the  sterile  hilly  districts. 
Warlike  Jutes  established  themselves  on  the  Isle  of  Thanet,  in  Kent,  on  the  Isle 
of  Wight,  and  on  the  coast  of  Hampshire  ;  Saxons,  with  kindred  tribes  from  Lower 
Germany,  amongst  whom  the  Friesians  were  the  most  prominent,  occupied  the 
basin  of  the  Thames  as  well  as  the  coasts  of  Essex  and  Sussex,  still  named  after 
them  ;  Angles,  from  the  southern  part  of  the  Cimbrian  peninsula,  drove  the 
Britons  out  of  Central  and  Northern  England.  Later  still  an  invasion  of  Danes 
and  Northmen  took  place,  and  last  of  all  William  the  Conqueror,  with  his 
fifty  thousand  French-speaking  Normans,  landed.  No  warlike  invasion  has  taken 
place  since  then,  but  the  population  of  the  British  Islands,  already  of  such 
diverse  origin,  has  repeatedly  received  fresh  accessions  of  kindred  or  alien  immi- 
grants, and  is  receiving  them  annually,  down  to  the  present  day.  Religious 
persecution  drove  thousands  of  Flemings  and  Frenchmen  to  the  shores  of  England, 
where  they  founded  new  industries,  and  in  course  of  time  amalgamated  with 
the  people.  Palatines  settled  in  the  country  when  driven  from  their  homes 
by  the  ruthless  hosts  of  Louis  XIY.,  and  political  refugees  of  all  nations  have 
at  all  times  found  a  secure  asylum  on  British  soil.  The  stock  of  the  actual 
population  of  the  British  Isles  consists  of  northern  types,  viz.  Celtic  Britons 
and  Teutonic  Saxons,  Northmen,  and  kindred  tribes.  It  is  not  in  accordance 
with  facts  to  comprehend  so  mixed  a  people  under  the  general  term  of  Anglo- 
Saxons,  as  if  it  had  had  no  other  ancestors  than  the  Germanic  invaders  who  came 
from  the  banks  of  the  Elbe  and  the  Cimbrian  peninsula.  The  name  of  Anglo- 
Celts,  suggested  by  Huxley  and  other  anthropologists,  is  the  only  one  by  which 
the  people  of  England,  no  less  than  of  the  British  Isles  collectively,  can  be 
appropriately  designated.  In  ordinary  conA^ersation,  however,  names  are  indif- 
ferently made  use  of  which,  far  from  being  synonyms,  convey  contradictory 
notions  as  to  the  origin  of  the  population.  We  speak  of  "  Great  Britain  "  as 
distinguished  from  "Little  Britain,"  or  Bretagne,  as  if  that  island  were  still 
in  the  sole  occupation  of  Celtic  Britons.  On  the  other  hand,  the  name  of 
"England,"  or  "Land  of  the  Angles,"   is  geographically  applied  to  the  whole 


32  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

southern  portion  of  Great  Britain,  and  frequently  used  in  a  still  more  compre- 
hensive sense. 

But  although  the  Anglo-Celtic  population  of  the  British  Islands  is  upon  the 
whole  a  mixed  one,  it  is  not  difficult  to  point  out  certain  districts  where  one  or 
other  of  its  constituent  elements  preponderates.  In  Western  Ireland,  in  the 
Highlands  of  Scotland,  in  the  Cumbrian  mountains,  in  Wales,  and  in  Cornwall  the 
old  Celtic  type  still  maintains  its  ground ;  Angles,  Saxons,  Friesians,  and  Jutes  are 
most  numerous  along  the  east  coast,  upon  which  their  ancestors  first  efiected  a 
landing,  and  in  the  adjoining  districts.  The  Danish  element  is  strongly  repre- 
sented in  the  whole  of  the  region,  embracing  fifteen  counties,  from  Hertford  to 
Durham,  which  was  formerly  known  as  the  district  of  the  *'  Danelagh,"  or  Danish 
Law.  The  Northmen  preponderate  in  the  northern  parts  of  Great  Britain. 
Firmly  established  on  the  Orkneys,  they  founded  colonies  on  the  coasts  of 
Scotland,  Cumberland,  and  Northumberland.  As  to  the  ancient  masters  and 
settlers  of  the  country,  their  memory  survives  in  the  names  of  rivers  and  moun- 
tains, towns  and  villages.*  Nearly  all  the  river  names  are  Celtic,  being  derived 
from  four  words  {afon,  don,  uisge,  and  dwr),  aU  meaning  "river"  or  '*  water." 

The  British  Celts  occupy  the  most  remote  districts  of  the  British  Isles,!  whilst 
the  immigrants  of  Teutonic  race  have  established  themselves  nearest  to  the  con- 
tinent. This  geographical  distribution  of  the  two  races  has  exercised  a  most  potent 
influence  upon  the  history  of  Europe.  Great  Britain  has  been  likened  by  Michelet  + 
to  a  huge  ship  which  turns  her  prow  towards  France  ;  and  this  prow  is  occupied 
by  men  of  Teutonic  origin,  whilst  the  Celts  are  kept  in  the  background,  in  remote 
peninsulas  and  in  Ireland.  The  contrast  between  the  two  nations  dwelling  on 
either  side  of  the  Channel  is  abrupt,  and  without  ethnical  transition.  France 
formerly  stood  face  to  face  with  her  enemy,  whilst  her  natural  allies  of  kindred 
race  were  far  away,  and  often  beyond  reach,  and  never  were  wars  waged  with 
greater  fury  than  those  between  the  Saxon  islander  and  the  continental  Gaul. 
But,  fortunately  for  mankind,  this  ancient  hatred  has  died  out,  and  a  feeling  of 
mutual  respect  and  friendship  now  animates  the  two  neighbouring  nations. 

Happily  for  England,  her  intercourse  with  the  remainder  of  the  world  has 
not  always  been  of  a  warlike  nature.  The  British  Isles  are  rich  in  deep  and 
spacious  harbours — far  more  so  than  France  ;  and  in  comparing  the  coasts  of  the 
two  countries  we  may  even  say  that  "Father  Ocean  has  a  bias  for  England." 
England,  besides,  enjoys  the  advantage  of  higher  tides,  which  enable  vessels  of 

*  Kemble,  "  The  Saxons  in  England;  "  Wright,  "  The  Celt,  the  Roman,  and  the  Saxon;  "  Skene, 
«  Celtic  Scotland." 

t  Number  of  Celtic-speaking  persons  throughout  the  British  Isles:— 

Irish  Gaels 867,600 

Manxinen 12  500 

Scotch  Gaels 309,300 

Cymri  (Welsh) 996,500 

Total     .         .         .  2,185,900 

Of  the  above  about  457,000  cannot  speak  EngUsh.  (E.  G.  Ravenstein,  Journal  of  the  Statistical  Societv, 
1879.)  . 

X  "  Histoire  de  France,"  ii. 


INHABITANTS. 


83 


considerable  burden  to  penetrate  the  estuaries  of  her  rivers,  almost  to  the  heart  of 
the  country.  As  long  as  the  British  Isles  were  thinly  peopled,  and  produced 
sufficient  to  supply  the  wants  of  the  inhabitants,  foreign  commerce,  as  might  have 
been  expected,  did  not  attain  considerable  proportions.  Yet  London,  even  before 
the  arrival  of  the  Eomans,  engaged  in  maritime  commerce,  and  during  the  Middle 
Ages,  whenever  its  citizens  had  a  respite  from  civil  commotions  and  foreign  wars, 
they  resumed  their  commercial  activity.  The  ancestors  of  many  of  the  inhabitants 
of  the  coast  were  hardy  Northmen,  and  from  them  they  inherited  a  love  of  maritime 
adventure,  and  an  eager  longing  to  struggle  with  waves  and  tempests.  Yet  it 
was  not  they  who  took  the  lead  in  those  memorable  discoveries  which  brought  the 


Fig.  17.— Gaeis  and  Cymri. 


Di'striciff  iny which/I 0 per ctmt> 
oftka  InhaiuanXje  ■ipexLhCeUxjCA 


n ^i 


Mer  cF  Greenw 


countries  of  the  world  nearer  to  each  other,  and  converted  a  space  without  limits 
into  a  simple  globe,  easily  encompassed  by  man.  The  glory  of  having  discovered 
the  ocean  routes  to  the  Indies  and  the  Pacific  was  fated  to  be  won  by  the 
mariners  of  the  more  civilised  nations  of  Southern  Europe.  But  the  seamen  of 
England  quickly  learnt  to  find  out  new  ocean  routes  for  themselves,  and  soon  their 
audacity  and  endurance  placed  them  at  the  head  of  all  their  rivals.  The  expeditions 
which  they  sent  forth  to  the  arctic  regions  to  discover  a  north-west  passage  to 
China,  and  which  they  still  continue  to  equip,  no  longer  for  the  sake  of  commerce, 
but  out  of  a  pure  love  for  science,  are  amongst  the  most  heroic  enterprises  recorded 
by  history.      But  where  one  English  vessel  ventured  into  unknown  seas,  hundreds 


84  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

followed  the  routes  already  discovered,  establishing  commercial  relations  with 
distant  countries,  destroying  the  factories  of  rival  traders,  and  landing  troops  and 
colonists.  By  degrees  the  admirable  geographical  position  of  England  with 
reference  to  Europe,  America,  and  the  whole  of  the  habitable  world  revealed  itself. 
Its  situation  at  the  western  extremity  of  the  European  continent  marked  it  out  as 
the  natural  intermediary  of  the  commerce  carried  on  between  the  Baltic,  Germany, 
Netherlands,  and  France  on  the  one  hand,  and  America  on  the  other  ;  and  whilst 
the  trade  winds  and  the  equatorial  current  sped  the  progress  of  vessels  sailing  to 
the  West  Indies,  the  gulf-stream  facilitated  their  return  to  the  shores  of  Europe. 
London,  as  was  first  pointed  out  by  Sir  John  Herschel,  occupies  very  nearly  the 
geometrical  centre  of  that  hemisphere  which  embraces  the  greater  part  of  the  land, 
and  consequently  no  city  is  more  favourably  situated  for  attracting  the  world's 
maritime  commerce*  This  magnificent  geographical  position  in  a  large  measure 
accounts  for  the  commercial  preponderance  of  England.  English  commerce  grew 
apace,  but  the  English  colonists  established  in  distant  countries  never  relaxed  in 
their  efforts  to  extend  it  still  farther.  No  colonising  nation,  the  Dutch  alone 
excepted,  has  brought  greater  zeal  and  more  sustained  effort  to  bear  upon  the 
work  it  had  taken  in  hand  ;  and  thus  a  small  European  people,  numbering  hardly 
5,000,000  souls  at  the  time  it  entered  upon  its  career  of  conquest,  has  gradually 
extended  its  dominions,  until  they  embrace  the  sixth  part  of  the  habitable 
globe,  and  close  upon  300,000,000  human  beings.  In  addition  to  this  there  are 
wide  territories  in  India,  in .  Arabia,  in  Africa,  and  elsewhere,  which  do  not 
officially  form  part  of  the  British  Empire,  but  where  English  influence  is  never- 
theless paramount,  and  the  request  of  an  English  consul  is  tantamount  to  a 
command.  Travellers  who  explore  distant  countries  contribute  in  no  small 
degree  to  the  extension  of  British  influence,  for  whether  they  wish  it  or  not,  they 
are  looked  upon  as  the  representatives  of  British  power,  and  the  precursors  of 
conquering  armies.  There  is  not  a  country  in  the  world  where  these  British 
travellers  and  explorers  are  not  to  be  met  with,  either  simply  in  search  of 
adventure,  or  anxious  to  do  honour  to  the  country  of  their  birth  by  their  dis- 
coveries. Whilst  artisans  and  labourers  expatriate  themselves,  because  in  another 
hemisphere  they  hope  to  acquire  the  comforts  and  independence  they  lack  at 
home,  there  are  also  thousands  of  the  younger  sons  of  the  aristocracy  whom  no 
responsibilities  tie  to  the  land  of  their  birth,  and  who  are  at  all,  times  ready  to 
exchange  their  place  of  abode.  Deprived  of  a  share  in  the  paternal  acres,  they, 
like  modern  Mamertines,  take  the  whole  earth  for  their  domain,  and  turn  their 
backs  upon  the  land  which  dispenses  with  their  services. 

And  whilst  mariners,  colonists,  and  explorers  discover  and  occupy  new  lands 
beyond  the  ocean,  the  miners  who  remain  at  home  explore  the  riches  of  an  under- 
ground world.  British  ships  bring  cotton,  rice,  and  spices ;  the  miners  raise  coal 
from  the  bowels  of  the  earth,  and  it  would  be  difficult  to  tell  whose  share  of  work 
is  most  contributive  towards  an  increase  of  British  power.     Huge  industrial  towns 

*  the  hemisphere  having  London  for  its  centre  embraces  16-1 7ths  of  the  land,  that  of  which  New 
Zealand  is  the  centre  only  l-17th. 


INHABITANTS. 


35 


have  arisen  where  formerly  there  stood  only  agricultural  villages  and  walled 
burghs :  a  manufacturing  district  of  wide  extent  in  the  north  serves  as  a  counter- 
poise to  the  agricultural  region  of  Southern  England.  Birmingham,  Sheffield, 
Manchester,  Leeds,  and  all  the  rising  towns  around  them,  are  of  spontaneous 
growth,  and  not  the  creations  of  an  all-directing  capital.  They  lead  their  own  life, 
and  each  of  them  has  become  a  centre  of  thought,  independent  of  London.  The 
great  industrial  movement  of  our  age  has  originated  in  these  towns,  and  spread 
thence  over  Europe  and  the  whole  world.  We  owe  to  them  the  application  of  new 
processes  of  manufacture  and  the  improvements  of  machinery,  for  the  factories  of 
Lancashire  and  Yorkshire  have  served  as  patterns  to  similar  establishments  in  other 
parts  of  the  world.  English  hydraulic  engineers,  who  were  content  formerly  to 
follow  in  the  wake  of  their  Dutch  colleagues,  have  struck  out  paths  of  their  own, 


Fig.  18. — The  Bbitish  Colonies. 


rib. Guiana 


iHtctn  dtCuHhm 


Cape  Coiy 


and  we  have  seen  that  even  in  the  Netherlands  there  exist  now  large  works  of 
canalisation  which  they  have  carried  out. 

In  the  manufacturing  districts  of  Great  Britain  smoke  mingles  so  largely  with 
the  atmosphere  as  to  have  wholly  changed  the  aspect  of  nature.  There  are 
towns  where  the  heavens  are  permanently  obscured  by  smoke,  where  the  houses, 
including  even  public  buildings,  most  sumptuously  furnished  in  the  interior,  are 
covered  with  soot,  and  a  shower  of ''blacks"  is  for  ever  descending  upon  the 
trees  and  lawns.  The  factories  have  thus,  as  it  were,  changed  the  climate  ;  but  their 
influence  upon  the  social  condition  of  the  people  has  been  even  greater.  They 
have,  more  than  any  other  agency  of  contemporaneous  civilisation,  influenced  the 
mode  of  life  of  the  people,  and  laid  the  seeds  of  a  great  revolution.  England,  before 
all  other  nations,  found  itself  face  to  face  with  the  formidable  problem  presented 
by  the  modern  proletariate.     It  is  there  that*  the  great  masses  are  involved  in  the 


36  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

fluctuations  of  commerce;  there  that  disputes  between  masters  and  workmen 
have  assumed  the  largest  proportions,  and  the  workmen's  trades  unions  dispose 
of  the  most  considerable  forces.  Not  an  event  takes  place  in  Europe  but  its 
effects  are  felt  in  the  workshops  of  England.  Not  a  change  can  be  made  in  the 
wages  of  the  English  factory  hands  without  the  labour  markets  of  the  whole  world 
immediately  feeling  the  effect. 

In  addition  to  the  direct  influence  which  England  brings  so  powerfully  to 
bear  upon  the  destinies  of  other  nations,  it  exerts,  through  its  distant  colonies, 
an  indirect  influence  of  the  utmost  importance.  Unhappily  English  colonisa- 
tion has  not  always  proved  a  benefit  to  the  aboriginal  populations  whose  countries 
have  been  occupied.  Where  the  English  colonist  sets  his  foot,  the  days  of  nomadic 
tribes  of  fishermen  and  hunters  are  numbered,  and  even  agricultural  tribes  do 
not  always  survive  contact  with  the  civilisation  forced  upon  them.  True  there 
still  exist  nations  beyond  the  pale  of  Europe  at  once  too  numerous  and  too  far 
advanced  in  civilisation  to  make  us  fear  their  extermination  ;  but  the  white  man 
has  nevertheless  violently  intervened  in  their  history,  and  none  more  decisively 
than  the  Englishman  and  his  American  kinsman.  It  was  they  who  forced  the 
people  of  Japan  to  take  part  in  the  movement  of  Western  civilisation,  and  broke 
down  the  barriers  behind  which  China  had  entrenched  herself.  The  vast  multi- 
tude inhabiting  the  peninsula  of  India  obey  the  orders  of  the  Empress-Queen  seated 
upon  the  banks  of  the  Thames.  A  deep  gulf  still  separates  the  haughty  Englishman 
from  the  timorous  Hindu,  and  the  time  when  the  two  will  be  able  fully  to  enter 
into  each  other's  thoughts  is  probably  very  remote.  Yet  the  presence  of  the 
European  conqueror  has  wrought  greater  changes  in  the  material  and  social  con- 
ditions of  the  population  of  India  than  the  twenty  centuries  which  preceded  his 
reign.  Railways,  schools,  and  printing-presses  have  totally  overthrown  this 
ancient  world,  and  a  new  life  is  penetrating  a  society  formerly  strictly  regulated 
by  caste  and  tradition.  If  ever  the  peoples  of  that  beautiful  peninsula  should 
learn  to  govern  themselves,  and  to  live  side  by  side  in  peace  and  the  enjoyment  of 
liberty,  the  first  impulses  will  have  come  from  England. 

The  increasing  extension  of  the  English  language  in  civilised  and  barbarous 
nations  cannot  fail  to  spread  English  ideas  amongst  men  of  various  races. 
M.  Alphonse  de  CandoUe,  in  a  well-known  book,*  develops  an  idea  already 
expressed  before  him  by  various  authors,  and  insists  upon  the  importance  which 
English  must,  in  course  of  time,  acquire  as  a  universal  language.  It  is  spoken 
not  merely  in  the  British  Isles,  but  also  in  America,  in  Australia,  in  every  centre  of 
commerce,  and  even  in  the  most  remote  islands  of  the  Pacific.  In  reality  it 
is  the  mother  tongue  of  some  77,000,000  of  human  beings ;  f   but  if  we  include 

♦  '*  Histoire  des  Sciences  et  des  Savants  depuis  deux  sifecles." 

t  Distribution  of  persons  whose  mother  tongue  is  English  : — 

In  Europe               34,000,000 

In  the  Lmted  States .  35,000,000 

In  British  North  America 3  300  OOO 

In  Australasia [         [  2',75o',000 

In  South  Africa               300,000 

In  other  liiughsh  Colonies 1  620  000 

76;970,000" 


INHABITANTS.  87 

men  of  various  races,  Europeans  and  Americans,  Africans,  Chinese,  Hindus,  and 
Malays,  who  understand  English,  and  make  more  or  less  use  of  it,  it  will  be  found 
that  it  has  already  become  a  vehicle  for  thought  to  at  least  100,000,000  indi- 
viduals. If,  too,  we  bear  in  mind  the  rapid  extension  of  the  English-speaking 
nations,  and  the  ever-increasing  importance  of  commercial  interests,  we  may  well 
foresee  a  time  when  double  this  number  will  transact  their  business  in  the  language 
now  spoken  in  the  ports  of  Liverpool,  New  York,  Sydney,  and  Calcutta.  English 
is  far  more  highly  favoured  in  this  expansion  than  either  the  French,  Russian,  or 
even  the  Spanish  language,  for  there  exist  three  great  centres  whence  it  spreads  over 
the  entire  world.  The  United  States  and  Canada  contribute  as  powerfully  to  its 
extension  as  the  mother  country ;  from  Australia  it  gradually  spreads  over  the 
islands  of  the  Pacific  ;  whilst  in  South  Africa  it  gains  ground  amongst  boers,  Kaffirs, 
and  other  natives  of  that  continent.  England  and  the  English  may  almost  be  said 
to  lay  siege  to  the  habitable  world.  The  Spanish  language  has  only  two  centres  of 
dispersion,  the  Iberian  peninsula  and  South  America,  and  up  till  now,  owing  to 
the  commercial  inferiority  of  the  nations  by  whom  it  is  spoken,  it  has  exhibited  but 
little  power  of  expansion  As  to  French,  though  highly  appreciated  by  all  nations 
of  culture  as  a  common  means  of  communication  in  matters  of  science  and  art, 
and  in  social  and  national  intercourse,  it  has  but  one  centre  whence  it  can  spread, 
viz.  France  and  Algeria,  for  French  Canada  and  the  Antilles  are  too  unimportant 
to  make  their  influence  felt  afar. 

English  is  thus  without  a  rival  in  the  rapidity  with  which  it  extends  its  domain. 
It  possesses,  moreover,  the  advantage  of  belonging  at  one  and  the  same  time  to 
two  distinct  groups  of  languages.  Germanic  in  its  origin,  spirit,  and  construction, 
it  also  belongs  to  the  Latin  group,  from  which  it  has  borrowed  numerous  words 
relating  to  art,  science,  politics,  and  the  ordinary  affairs  of  life.  It  is  possible  to 
meet  with  papers  of  a  technical  nature  in  which  only  the  auxiliary  verbs,  prepo- 
sitions, and  conjunctions  are  of  the  old  Anglo-Saxon  stock.  But  good  writers, 
according  to  the  subject  they  deal  with,  understand  how  to  blend  these  words  of 
diverse  origin,  as  the  weaver  knows  how  to  arrange  his  threads  when  reproducing 
a  coloured  pattern.  Whilst  French  is  easily  acquired  only  by  the  Latin  nations  of 
Southern  Europe,  English,  owing  to  its  double  origin,  presents  no  greater  difficulties 
to  the  Portuguese  than  to  the  Swede,  to  the  Romanian  than  the  German.  It  is 
absolutely  foreign  only  to  the  Slavs,  who,  in  their  intercourse  with  the  inhabitants 
of  Western  Europe,  mostly  make  use  of  German  or  French ;  but  they,  too,  have 
recently  paid  more  attention  to  English,  which  the  facility  with  which  they  acquire 
foreign  languages  enables  them  to  master  quickly. 

Besides  the  advantages  derived  from  the  ubiquity  of  the  English-speaking 
peoples,  and  the  large  number  of  synonyms — many  words  of  Anglo-Saxon  origin 
having  been  supplemented  by  words  from  the  Latin  conveying  a  similar  idea — 
English  possesses  precious  qualities  as  a  universal  language.  It  is  distinguished, 
above  all,  by  the  simplicity  of  its  grammar  and  its  expressive  conciseness. 
No  other  language  has  been  mutilated  to  the  same  extent ;  but  has  not  this 
phonetic  change  emancipated  thought  and  favoured  the  solution  of  abstract  ques- 


38  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

tions  ?*  English  writers  consequently  congratulate  themselves  upon  having  delivered 
their  language  from  a  "  superannuated  system  of  flexions."  They  are  by  no  means 
.sorry  that  in  some  respects  it  should  resemble  the  monosyllabic,  and  in  others  the 
agglutinate  languages.!  The  want  of  conciseness  is  felt  so  much  that  in  ordinary 
conversation  a  long  word  is  sometimes  reduced  to  a  single  syllable,  and  initial 
letters  are  substituted  for  proper  names  and  titles.  "  What  other  language  is  there 
so  expressive  and  concise,"  says  Ampere,  "  as  that  in  which  dog  means  '  to  follow 
some  one's  track  like  a  dog  in  pursuit  of  its  prey,'  or  where,  in  familiar  language, 
cut  conveys  the  meaning  of  *  appearing  not  to  know  some  one  in  order  to  break  off 
an  undesirable  acquaintanceship  ? '  "  Poetical  language  is  hardly  ever  capable 
of  being  translated,  and  this  applies  more  especially  to  English.  The  language 
of  Shakspere,  Tennyson,  and  Byron  is  rich,  powerful,  vigorously  precise,  and 
picturesque  to  such  a  degree  that  the  task  of  adequately  conveying  its  meaning  in 
other  tongues  is  almost  a  hopeless  one.  All  its  vigour  Vanishes  in  the  process 
of  translation,  and  there  remains  but  a  body  without  a  framework. 

The  ordinary  speech  of  an  Englishman,  however,  strikes  a  foreigner  as  being 
anything  but  agreeable.  He  misses  the  distinct  pronunciation  of  vowels,  and  finds 
it  monotonous,  abounding  in  sibilants  and  even  "  explosives."  There  is  none  of  the 
sonorousness  of  the  Southern  languages,  or  of  the  clearness  and  pure  pronunciation 
of  the  French.  'No  other  language  presents  similar  anomalies  in  its  orthography, 
which  etymology  and  a  respect  for  tradition  have  caused  to  be  adhered  to,  although 
in  many  instances  it  no  longer  corresponds  with  the  language  as  it  is  spoken.  Will 
the  excess  of  the  evil  bring  about  its  cure,  as  several  men  of  thought  and  intelli- 
gence expect  ?  +  At  all  events  a  reform  of  English  spelling  would  facilitate  the 
acquisition  of  the  language  by  foreigners,  and  improve  its  chances  of  becoming  one 
day  the  language  of  the  entire  world.  There  are  bilingual  countries  even  now 
where  the  children  at  school  are  taught  both  languages,  in  order  that  they  may 
converse  with  all  their  fellow-countrymen.  Would  it  be  impossible  to  introduce 
this  system  into  every  country  of  the  world,  and  to  teach  an  international  language, 
such  as  English,  in  addition  to  the  mother  tongue,  embodying  the  national  genius 
and  its  aspirations  ? 

In  the  meantime  civilisation  in  an  English  guise  is  rapidly  gaining  ground  in 
every  part  of  the  world,  and  mainly  through  the  agency  of  its  language.  What 
then,  we  may  ask,  is  the  ideal  type  of  the  powerful  nation  whose  sons,  scattered 
broadcast  over  the  face  of  the  earth,  essay  to  remodel  mankind  on  the  pattern  of 
Old  England  ?  What  moral  influence  has  it  already  exercised  upon  other  men, 
and  what  good  or  evil  fruit  is  it  likely  to  bear  in  the  future  ? 

The  Englishman  combines  in  a  vigorous  individuality  the  characteristics  of  the 

Celt,  the  German,  and  the  Dane.    He  is,  above  all  others,  distinguished  for  strength 

of  will,  energy,  and  tenacity.     He  has  something  of  the  nature  of  the  mastiff;  which 

would  rather  be  cut  to  pieces  than  let  go  his  hold.     Military  history  abounds  in 

*  Michel  Breal,  «  Melanges  de  Mj-thologie  et  de  Linguistique." 

!  SlfMmtT-TT?!-^'''^^^^        ElieReclus,  "  Ethnography  ".('' Encyclopedia  Britannica  "). 
+  Max  Muller,     On  fepellmg      {Fortnightly  Review,  vol.  xix.  New  Series). 


INHABITANTS.  89 

examples  of  the  steadiness  exhibited  by  English  soldiers  in  the  field,  their  firmness 
in  battle,  and  unshaken  fortitude  under  defeat.  Even  the  coarse  boxing-matches 
now  prohibited  by  law,  but  until  recently  admired  by  the  multitude,  bear  witness 
to  the  possession  of  an  exuberancy  of  spirit.  But  though  the  Englishman  loves 
fighting  for  fighting's  sake,  he  loves  it  still  more  because  of  the  advantages  that 
may  be  derived  from  it.  A  barren  victory,  in  mere  satisfaction  of  his  vanity,  does 
not  content  him,  for  he  always  aims  at  conquest.  It  has  long  been  matter  of 
observation  that  he  thinks  more  of  the  tangible  advahtages  resulting  from  a  success 
than  his  old  rival  on  the  other  side  of  the  Channel.*  As  depicted  by  himself,  the 
typical  Englishman  appears  under  the  guise  of  "John  Bull,''  a  plain,  irascible,  but 
good-natured  old  fellow,  without  taste,t  but  abounding  in  strong  common  sense,  and 
fond  of  his  purse  and  stomach.  "  Jacques  Bonhomme,"  by  a  remarkable  contrast, 
is  represented  as  being  lean,  poor,  and  sad,  whilst  "  John  Bull  "  is  fat,  rich,  and 
jovial. 

British  energy,  when  exhibited  for  the  personal  advantage  of  individuals 
struggling  for  existence,  is  often  apt  to  degenerate  into  ferocity.  An  Englishman 
desirous  of  making  his  way  through  a  crowd  pushes  aside  without  ceremony  those 
who  obstruct  his  progress.  The  independence  of  which  he  is  so  proud  is  often 
nothing  but  an  absolute  want  of  sympathy  for  other8.+  If  he  yields  to  his  natural 
inclinations,  he  becomes  hard,  cold,  and  egotistic.  Even  in  the  presence  of 
strangers  he  frequently  takes  up  the  attitude  of  an  enemy.  His  early  national 
history  tells  us  of  frightful  cruelties  committed  in  cold  blood,  and  not,  as  in  other 
countries,  in  the  exaltation  of  fanaticism  or  revenge.  Abroad,  whether  he  make 
his  appearance  as  an  exacting  and  distant  master,  as  a  merchant  eager  to  transact 
business,  or  merely  as  a  curious  traveller  enveloped  in  an  atmosphere  of  frigidity, 
he  inspires  no  feelings  of  love.  He  is  respected,  and  sometimes  even  admired,  but 
occasionally  it  happens  that  he  is  hated.  He  knows  it,  and  it  does  not  trouble 
him.  The  islander  is  an  island  unto  himself  §  He  never  changes,  and  his  impas- 
sive face  does  not  reflect  his  inner  life.  It  is  not  that  he  is  without  feelings  of 
afiection  :  quite  the  contrary.  If  he  says  little,  and  only  after  due  reflection,  it  is 
because  to  him  every  word  is  the  forerunner  of  an  action.  !l  He  loves  devotedly, 
and  forms  fast  friendships,  but  represses  his  passions,  and  by  doing  so  renders  them 
all  the  more  potent. 

There  is  not,  perhaps,  a  people  in  existence  amongst  whom  the  changes 
resulting  from  social  development  have  been  more  considerable  than  in  the 
English.  No  difference  could  be  greater  than  that  between  the  ferocious  Saxon 
and  Dane  and  the  modern  English  gentleman,  who  is  discreet,  reserved  in  his 
speech,  kindly  in  his  manners,  obliging,  aff'able,  and  generous.  Yet  this  great 
change  has  taken  place  almost  imperceptibly,  and  by  slow  degrees.  The  same 
man,   now  so  remarkable  in  many  respects  as  a  product  of  civilisation,   was  a 

*  Alph.  Esquiros,  "  L'Angleterre  et  la  vie  anglaise." 

t  Washington  Irving,  "An  American  in  London." 

}  Bulwer,  "England  Hnd  the  English." 

§  Emerson,  "English  Traits." 

Il  Auguste  Laugel,  "De  1' aristocratic  anglaise"  [Revue  des  Beux-Mondes,  1872). 


4Q  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

thousand  years  ago  a  brutish  churl,  whose  deeds  of  violence  have  been  placed  on 
record  in  ancient  chronicles.  The  wonderful  transformation  is  the  result  of  the 
patient  and  unremitting  labour  of  years.  No  great  political  revolution  has  occurred 
in  the  country  since  the  seventeenth  century,  and  it  is  by  a  process  of  slow  evolu- 
tion that  the  English  have  thus  modified  their  character.  None  of  the  vestiges  of 
the  past  have  whoUv  disappeared.  In  no  other  country  can  the  progress  of 
architecture  since  the  davs  of  Saxons  and  Normans  be  studied  with  greater  advan- 
tage  Cromwell,  the  great  leveller,  razed  many  castles  and  burnt  numerous 
abbeys;  but  from  Arundel  to  Carnavon,  from  Salisbury  to  York,  hundreds  of 
these  medieval  structures,  both  feudal  and  monastic,  survive  to  the  present  day, 
and  all  the  world  is  engaged  in  their  restoration.     Ancient  customs,  meaningless 

Fig.   19.— Akundel  Castle:  Interior  Quadrangle. 


to  the  general  public,  are  still  religiously  observed.  Terms  in  Norman  French, 
no  longer  intelligible  on  the  other  side  of  the  Channel,  are  still  employed  in 
legal  documents  and  on  certain  occasions  of  state.  Mediaeval  costumes  are  worn 
by  the  custodians  of  certain  royal  buildings,  and  the  children  in  some  of  the 
foundation  schools  are  still  dressed  in  the  style  in  vogue  at  the  time  of  the 
original  founders.  Leases  are  granted  for  ninety-nine  and  even  for  nine  hundred 
and  ninety-nine  years,  as  if  the  lessor  could  insure  the  existence  of  his  family  for 
all  time  to  come.  Testamentary  dispositions  made  in  the  Middle  Ages  remain  in 
force  to  the  present  day.  Even  in  London  there  are  streets  which  are  occasionally 
closed  on  one  day  in  the  year,  by  having  barriers  placed  across  them,  in  order  to 
show  that  the  owner  of  the  land,  although  he  allows  the  public  to  use  them,  does 
not   relinquish   his  claim  to  property   in   the    soil.     "Beating   the  bounds*'   is 


INHABITANTS.  41 

a  procedure  still  observed  in  certain  parts  of  England  on  Holy  Thursday,  or 
Ascension  Day,  and  consists  in  perambulating  the  parish  boundaries,  the  boys  of 
the  parish  school  striking  the  boundary  marks  with  peeled  willow  wands.  The 
singular  expedient  of  whipping  the  boys  themselves  on  the  spot,  in  order  to  more 
firmly  fix  the  lay  of  the  boundaries  in  their  memories,  appears,  however,  to  have 
been  relinquished.  "  Merry  Christmas "  plays  an  important  part  in  the  life  of 
Englishmen,  and  for  that  festive  occasion  every  good  housewife  attends  to  the  pre- 
paration of  the  traditional  fare.  On  that  happy  day  all  Englishmen,  from  one  end 
of  the  world  to  the  other,  from  London  to  the  antipodes,  and  from  the  icy  North  to 
the  burning  deserts  of  Africa,  feel  in  communion  with  each  other.  The  explorer, 
if  obliged,  from  the  want  of  porters,  to  part  with  some  of  his  most  precious 
stores,  nevertheless  holds  fast  to  his  plum  pudding,  and,  when  eating  it,  exchanges 
good  wishes  with  his  friends  at  home.* 

In  no  other  country  of  the  world  are  juridical  precedents  looked  up  to  with 
greater  respect  than  in  England,  and  the  antiquated  legal  procedure,  that  "monster 
plague  of  the  country,"  to  use  an  expression  of  Lord  Brougham,  is  only  too  often 
in  conflict  with  our  ideas  of  justice.  The  judges  and  barristers  still  wear  wigs,  and 
enjoy  an  amount  of  consideration  which  is  not  extended  to  their  colleagues  on  the 
continent.  The  judges  attending  the  assizes  are  looked  upon  as  the  direct  repre- 
sentatives of  the  sovereign,  and  take  precedence  before  all  other  Englishmen, 
including  even  princes  of  the  blood  royal. f 

The  Englishman,  patient  and  strong,  never  in  a  hurry,  but  at  all  times  ready 
to  act,  is  not  ordinarily  possessed  of  those  high  ambitions  which  sway  his  neigh- 
bour on  the  other  side  of  the  Channel.  His  horizon  is  more  limited,  and  he 
conceives  no  vast  general  plans,  being  content  with  efiecting  changes  by  degrees 
and  in  detail.  He  only  attends  to  one  thing  at  a  time,  but  does  it  thoroughly. 
His  eye  is  deep-set,  and  he  looks  straight  before  him.  He  is  even  said  to  wear 
"blinkers,"  in  order  that  objects  lying  outside  his  path  may  not  distract  his  atten- 
tion. +  Those  vast  synthetic  views  and  generalisations,  which  elsewhere  divide 
nations  into  parties  strongly  opposed  to  each  other,  can  hardly  be  said  to  exist 
amongst  Englishmen,  taking  them  as  a  whole.  They  concern  themselves,  above  all 
things,  with  facts,  and  successively  analyze  every  question  as  it  turns  up.  The 
principle  of  a  division  of  labour  is  strictly  carried  out,  and  those  who  study  have 
not  so  much  in  view  the  advancement  of  learning  as  the  practical  requirements 
of  their  future  avocation.  This  want  of  a  wide  comprehension  often  renders 
Englishmen  intolerant,  for  they  cannot  understand  how  other  people  can  think 
differently  from  themselves.  It  is  only  rarely  that  parliamentary  speakers 
enunciate  a  principle ;  they  are  content  to  discuss  in  commonplace  language  the 
advantages  and  disadvantages  of  the  thing  proposed,  adducing  facts  in  support  of 
their  views.  They  leave  "  ideas  "  to  others,  and  prefer  large  battalions  and  strong 
redoubts  to  the  most  ingenious  plans  of  battle  or  the  inspiration  of  the  moment. § 

*  Cameron,  "  Across  Africa." 

t  N.  Hawthorne,  "  English  Note-Books." 

J  Emerson,  "  English  Traits." 

§  Henri  Heine,  "  De  I'Angleterre."     Emerson,  "  English  Traits." 

100— E 


^2  .  THE  BKITISH  ISLES. 

^if  in  'msociate  themselves  with  those  of 

-  -- i~r  rir:ra:t  n.  ana  .e  n.... ».  .c.. 


their  countrymen  who  hold  v.ew.  s.muar  »  —  ;""'  "  ^^  p^^„„^  ^^,^, 

estahHshed  for  every  conceivable  ob^cj  ^-^^jj^^^^^^  ^^.^  ,„ 

tions  of  this  kind  are  less  "^7  ^J/^^^^Jl^^^^^  ..  unions,"  and  other 

vast  and  indefinite  projects,  whilst  the  ""™J^J;;  /  ^.^^  p^^tieal  parties 
societies  of  England  have  always  some  definite  object  in  view  f 

rr  i^^^^^^  b'odies  do  not  forxn  distinct  and  hostile  camps  as  on  the  contm^^^^^^^ 
The  tran^tions  between  one  pole  of  society  and  the  other  are  ^^^-f  ^^f;^^^^^^^ 
hundreds  of  associations,  whatever  their  object,  recruit  the.  members  from  the 
whole  nation,  wherever  a  sympathetic  voice  responds  to  them.  It  thus  happens 
that  an  Englishman  may  find  himself  associated,  for  a  particular  object,  w.^  men 
belonging  to  the  most  diverse  political  parties.  No  one  thxnks  of  blammg  h.m,  or 
expects  him  to  sacrifice  his  independent  opmions.  ,    wt,  • 

It  is  now  four  centuries  since  Froissart   said    that   Enghshmen  took  their 
pleasures  sadly,  although,  at  the  time  this  author  wrote,  "  Merry  "was  the  epithet 
which  the  natives  of  the  country  prefixed  to  the  name  of  England.     The  crowds 
which  throng  the  streets  of  the  towns  of  Great  Britain  in  our  own  days  certainly 
are  anything  but  gay.     On  the  contrary,  these  preoccupied,  silent  men,  clad  in 
sombre  garments,  are  almost  lugubrious  in  appearance.     The  climate,  with  its  fogs, 
its  rains,  and  its  leaden  skies,  may  account,  to  some  extent,  for  the  gloomy  faces  we 
meet  with  ;  but  there  are  other  causes  at  work  calculated  to  stamp  a  character  of 
melancholy  upon  the  countenances  of  vast  numbers.    In  none  of  the  Latin  countries 
of  Europe  is   social  inequality  so  great  as  in  England.      It  has  created  a  gulf 
separating  the  rich  from  the  poor,  the  landed  proprietor  from  the  tillers  of  the  soil, 
the  master  from  the  servant— nay,  even,  until  recently,  the  undergraduate  of  noble 
birth  from  his  fellow-commoner.    Veneration  of  the  aristocracy  has  passed  into  the 
blood  of  the  people,  and   in  some  provincial  towns  crowds  immediately  collect 
whenever  a  nobleman's  carriage  stops  in  the  streets.*      The  moral  malady,  which 
Bulwer  designates  as  "  aristocratic  contagion,"  has  corrupted  the  whole   nation, 
from  the  court  to  the  village.     Every  one  aspires  to  become  "  respectable ;  "  that 
is,  to  appear  wealthier  than  he  is.    Society  is  thus  divided  into  innumerable  classes, 
all  busily  employed  removing  the  barriers  which  separate  them  from  their  superiors, 
but  equally  intent  upon  maintaining  those  which  shut  out  the  class  next  beneath 
it.     Not  a  provincial  town  but  the  haberdasher's  wife  declines,  to  associate  with 
the  wife  of  the  grocer,  as  being  beneath  her.f      Nor  has  the  Puritanical  reaction 
ceased  yet,  which  consisted,  not  in  a  maceration  of  the  body,  but  in  stifling  free 
inquiry,  and  curtailing  the  delight  yielded  by  a  cultivation  of  art.     The  actual 
inferiority  of  the  British  stage  may  probably  be  due  to  this  Puritanical  influence, 
for  power  of  observation  or  fancy  is  not  lacking  for  comedy,  whilst  the  drama 
boasts  of  the  models  furnished  by  Shakspere  and  his  successors.     But  perhaps 
we  ought  also  to  take  into  account  that  England  has  enjoyed  internal  peace  for 
more  than  two  centuries ;  it  lives  no  longer,  like  France,  in  the  midst  of  a  great 

*  N.  Hawthorne,  "  English  Note- Books." 

t  Edward  Lytton  Bulwer,  "  England  and  the  English." 


INHABITANTS.  43 

drama,  the  scenes  of  which  succeed  each  other  from  generation  to  generation* 
In  painting,  more  especially,  England,  until  recently,  was  inferior  to  her  neigh- 
bours. At  the  time  of  the  revolution  in  the  seventeenth  century  Parliament 
ordered  the  destruction  or  sale  of  the  most  precious  Italian  masterpieces,  and  even 
now  it  will  not  allow  the  paintings  belonging  to  the  nation  to  be  looked  at  on 
Sunday.  Sunday  is,  indeed,  a  great  institution  of  the  country,  more  especially  in 
Scotland,  where  all  animation  then  appears  to  be  suspended.  In  1844,  when  the 
King  of  Saxony  desired  to  embark  on  a  Sunday,  after  he  had  been  feted  for  a 
whole  week,  he  was  obliged  to  proceed  very  cautiously,  in  order  not  to  expose 
himself  to  the  insults  of  an  Edinburgh  mob,t  and  quite  recently  the  Queen 
herself  was  taken  to  task  for  venturing  to  cross  a  ferry  on  the  Sabbath-day. 

By  a  curious  contrast,  which  may  also  be  observed  in  Holland,  the  Anglo- 
Saxon,  whenever  the  moment  has  come  for  putting  aside,  like  a  borrowed  garment, 
the  seriousness  of  every-day  life,  suddenly  passes  from  a  state  of  apathy,  or  even 
apparent  despondency,  into  one  of  boisterous  hilarity.  The  enthusiasm  exhibited 
at  horse  and  boat  races,  and  on  other  occasions,  is  quite  unintelligible  to  a  French- 
man or  Italian,  who  looks  upon  it  as  akin  to  folly.  On  holidays  everybody  spends 
money  without  counting  the  cost,  and  often  it  is  the  wife  who  is  most  lavish,  and 
least  thoughtful  of  the  future. 

A  love  of  nature  somewhat  counteracts  the  influences  of  the  monotonous  life 
passed  in  counting-houses  and  factories.  Though  no  adepts  in  the  arrangement 
of  lines  or  blending  of  colours.  Englishmen  love  open  fields,  fine  trees,  and  woods  ; 
they  are  fond,  too,  of  the  sea,  and  enjoy  being  in  the  midst  of  the  agitated  waves. 
This  love  of  nature  in  its  grand  and  unadulterated  aspects  is  reflected  throughout 
the  country  in  the  appearance  of  the  land,  which,  though  carefully  cultivated, 
has  not  been  disfigured  by  the  process. :{:  Quickset  hedges  separate  meadows  and 
fields,  while  masses  of  trees  afford  shade  near  the  dwelling-houses,  whose  red  bricks 
are  often  half  hidden  by  climbing  vines  or  ivy.  Humble  cottages  on  the  roadside 
charm  by  their  air  of  peaceful  beauty.  The  mansions  of  the  wealthy  stand 
in  the  midst  of  wide  parks,  where  oaks,  beeches,  and  ash-trees  mingle  with  the 
conifers  of  Europe,  the  Himalayas,  and  Oregon ;  and  these  mansions,  moreover, 
are  often  replete  with  treasures  of  art,  unfortunately  open  only  to  the  inspection 
of  privileged  visitors.  Even  under  the  smoke-laden  atmosphere  of  the  manu- 
facturing districts  the  country  in  many  places  retains  its  verdure;  its  copses  of 
wood,  its  peaceful  and  smiling  aspect,  for  the  manufacturers,  as  a  rule,  take  much 
delight  in  agriculture  and  gardening.  The  foliage  of  their  copses  hides  the 
chimney  of  the  neighbouring  factory,  and  the  rivulet,  which  only  a  short  distance 
lower  down  turns  the  wheel  of  a  mill,  winds  peaceably  between  grass-clad  slopes. 
But  a  turn  of  the  road,  and  the  scene  changes  abruptly  ;  we  find  ourselves 
suddenly  transported  into  a  region  of  clatter  and  activity. 

The   love    of  nature,   joined   to   that  of  danger,  has    rendered    Englishmen 

*  Alfred  Dumesnil,  "  Notes  Manuscrites." 

t  Carus,  "  England  und  Schottland  im  Jahre  1844." 

X  N.  Hawthorne,  "  English  Note-Books." 


44  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

famous  as  climbers  and  explorers  of  mountains.  Nearly  a  century  and  a  half 
has  passed  by  since  Mont  Blanc  was  "discovered,"  as  it  were,  by  Pococke  and 
Windham.  Englishmen  were  not  the  first  to  climb  this  giant  amongst  European 
mountains,  but  next  to  Saussure  they  have  most  frequently  scaled  the  summits 
of  the  peaks  of  Savoy  and  Switzerland,  far  surpassing  in  intrepidity  the  natives  of 
these  countries.  It  is  they  who  have  most  assiduously  studied  the  phenomena  of 
the  Mer  de  Glace,  and  of  its  surrounding  snow-fields,  and  who  were  the  first  to 
unravel  the  topography  of  the  little-known  mountain  groups  of  the  Pelvoux. 
Grand  Paradis,  and  Viso.  It  was  they,  too,  who  first  founded  an  Alpine  Club, 
which  has  become  the  parent  of  similar  societies  in  other  parts  of  Europe,  and 
even  of  India,  at  the  foot  of  the  Himalayas. 

A  loving  intimacy  with  nature  has  undoubtedly  helped  Englishmen  in 
appreciating  and  breeding  to  perfection  the  various  kinds  of  domestic  animals. 
They  do  not  confine  themselves  merely  to  improve  the  breeds,  in  order  that  they 
may  yield  more  meat  or  better  wool,  and  thus  enhance  the  pecuniary  profits  to 
be  derived  from  them,  for  they  seek  also  to  satisfy  their  aesthetic  feelings  by 
rendering  them  more  shapely.  Passionately  fond  of  horses  and  dogs,  they  have 
succeeded,  by  judicious  crossings,  unflagging  attention,  and  a  course  of  training 
persevered  in  for  generations,  in  producing  new  varieties,  and  transmitting  the 
qualities  in  which  they  excel.  An  English  breeder  has  almost  the  power  of 
endowing  the  animal  he  breeds  with  strength,  agility,  or  beauty.  Even  before 
it  is  born  he  ventures  to  predict  its  shape,  its  gait,  the  form  of  its  head,  and  the 
colour  of  its  skin.  English  horticulturists,  too,  have  created  thousands  of  new 
varieties  of  plants,  and  they  reproduce  in  their  hothouses  the  climate  best  suited 
to  each  species. 

But  if  England-  is  the  country  where  the  breeding  of  our  various  domestic 
animals  is  carried  on  with  the  greatest  success,  it  is  no  less  the  country  where 
the  physical  education  of  youth  is  conducted  most  intelligently,  and  with  the 
greatest  respect  for  the  nature  of  the  child,  so  that  it  may  gain  in  strength 
and  beauty.  There  are  few  English  babies  not  charming  to  look  upon.  Poverty 
unfortunately  disfigures  the  features  of  many  early  in  life,  but  amongst  those 
privileged  by  fortune  how  many  are  there  not  who  amply  fulfil  the  promises 
they  held  out  in  early  childhood  !  Observations  made  at  Harrow  and  Eton,  as 
well  as  at  the'Universities  of  Oxford  and  Cambridge,  during  a  period  of  fifty  years, 
prove  conclusively  that  the  young  men  of  modern  England  are  superior  to  their 
forefathers  in  strength  and  agility.  Thanks  to  a  greater  attention  to  the  laws  of  ^ 
hygiene,  the  growing  generation  is  physically  superior  to  the  generations  which  jl 
preceded  it.  A  cricket  match  is  at  all  times  a  pleasant  sight.  These  tail,  lithe  ^M 
youths,  with  muscular  arms,  dressed  in  light  attire,  and  surrounded  by  thousands 
of  spectators  keenly  interested  in  their  eftbrts  ,do  they  not  remind  us  of  the  heroes 
of  the  Olympian  games?  Difierent  surroundings,  and  perhaps  a  little  more 
personal  grace,  alone  are  wanting  to  weave  around  them  a  charm  of  poetry  such 
as  enveloped  the  athletes  of  ancient  Hellas.  But  where  is  the  azure  sky,  where  are 
the   marble   halls   and   divinely  shaped   statues  which   surrounded   the   ancient 


INHABITANTS.  45 

arenas,  not  to  speak  of  the  prestige  conferred  by  a  past  of  two  thousand  years  ? 
Still  these  young  athletes  of  England  do  not  yield  to  those  of  ancient  Greece  in 
the  courage,  endurance,  and  earnestness  with  which  they  engage  in  their  sports. 
Their  education,  which  unfortunately  does  not  always  tend  to  a  proper  balance 
between  mental  and  physical  culture,  undoubtedly  braces  the  muscles,  renders  the 
glance  more  calm,  and  develops  energy.  Thanks  to  this  course  of  discipline,  men 
thus  trained  learn  to  depend  upon  themselves  on^  every  occasion.  They  brave 
disease,  fatigue,  and  danger ;  dread  neither  high  winds,  cold,  nor  heat ;  and  though 
left  alone  on  the  ocean  or  in  the  desert,  are  inflexible  in  the  attainment  of  their 
purpose,  regretting  neither  parents,  friends,  nor  the  easy  life  of  large  towns,  as 
long  as  their  work  is  unaccomplished.  Conscious  of  their  strength,  they  despise 
cunning,  that  resource  of  the  feeble  ;  they  boldly  speak  the  truth,  even  to  their 
own  detriment. 

England,  of  all  civilised  countries,  is  the  one  where  the  number  of  truly 
conscientious  men,  who  guide  their  conduct  by  rules  which  they  consider  to  be 
j  ust  and  honourable,  is  the  largest.  But  in  a  country  where  personal  dignity  and 
a  love  of  truth  are  held  in  such  high  respect,  it  is  only  natural  that  hypocrites 
should  be  numerous.  The  number  of  those  who  assume  a  virtue,  though  they 
have  it  not,  is  undoubtedly  large,  but  by  this  very  act  they  do  homage  to  the  self- 
respect  which  is  the  true  characteristic  of  an  Englishman,  and  this  self-respect  has 
been  more  conducive  to  the  upbuilding  of  British  power  than  all  the  advantages 
derived  from  a  flourishing  industry  and  extensive  commerce. 


CHAPTER  IT. 

WALES  AND  MONMOUTHSHIRE. 

General  Features. 

ALES,  with  the  county  of  Monmouthshire,  forms  a  well-marked 
geographical  division  of  Great  Britain,  distinguished  at  once  by  its 
mountainous  character,  its  ancient  rocks,  and  the  origin  of  a  vast 
majority  of  its  inhabitants.  Its  shores  are  washed  on  the  north 
by  the  Irish  Sea  as  far  as  the  mouth  of  the  Dee,  on  the  west  by 
St.  George's  Channel,  and  on  the  south  by  the  Bristol  Channel,  whilst  on  the  east 
the  country  slopes  down  to  the  vale  of  the  Severn,  the  hills  lying  to  the  west  of 
that  river  approximately  forming  its  boundary  on  that  side.  Wales,  compared 
with  the  remainder  of  Great  Britain,  is  but  of  small  extent,*  for  it  merely  consists 
of  a  two-horned  peninsula  jutting  out  westward ;  but  within  its  borders  rise  the 
loftiest  mountains  met  with  to  the  south  of  the  Scotch  Grampians.  This  mountain 
land,  distinguished  rather  for  its  varied  aspects,  its  wild  yet  picturesque  valleys, 
its  rich  verdure,  its  lakes  and  sparkling  rivulets,  than  for  the  boldness  of  its 
summits,  is  the  most  ancient  soil  of  Southern  Britain.  Long  before  England  had 
emerged  above  the  sea,  the  Laurentian,  Silurian,  and  Cambrian  rocks  of  "Wales 
rose  as  islands  in  the  midst  of  the  ocean.  They  are  the  vestiges  of  a  Britain  more 
ancient  than  that  now  known  to  us  as  England  and  Scotland.  And  those  who 
people  this  ancient  soil  are  distinguished  from  the  other  inhabitants  by  the 
antiquity  of  their  origin;  for  they  are  the  descendants  of  the . aborigines  of  the 
country,  and  can  look  upon  Saxons,  Jutes,  Danes,  and  Normans  as  comparatively 
recent  intruders. 

The  mountains  of  Wales  do  not  form  a  continuous  range,  or  a  regular  succes- 
sion of  ranges,  but  rather  rise  in  distinct  groups,  separated  by  low  passes,  and 
spreading  out  sometimes  into  elevated  table-lands  intersected  by  deep  and  fertile 
valleys.  The  principal  amongst  these  groups  is  that  which  occupies  the  whole 
of  Carnarvon,  and  within  which  rises  the  monarch  of  the  Welsh  mountains, 
Snowdon,t  thus  named  on  account  of  the  snow  which  remains  on  its  summit  foi 

*  Area,  7,957  square  miles ;  population  (1861)  1,286,413— (1871)  1,412,583. 

t  By  the  Welsh  it  is  called  Eryri,  which  some  translate  "  Eagle's  Rock,"  others  "  Snowy  Mountain." 


WALES. 


47 


five  or  six  months  of  the  year.  Though  only  3,590  feet  in  height,  this  mountuiu 
impresses  the  beholder  by  the  boldness  with  which  it  rises  above  all  surrounding 
heights,  revealing  the  whole  of  its  slopes,  from  their  base  to  the  peaked  summit 
called  Y  W^'ddfa,  or  the  **  Place  of  Presence."  The  prospect  to  be  enjoyed  from 
this  mass  of  slate  pierced  by  porphyritic  rocks,  rising  close  to  the  sea,  is  most 
magnificent,  and  extends  over  a  vast  horizon  of  lower  hills,  valleys,  lakes,  promon- 
tories, and  inlets  of  the  sea.      On  a  clear  day  the  eye  commands  not  only  a  vast 

Pig.  20. — ViBW  OF  Snowbon. 


portion  of  Wales,  but  may  range  eastward  to  the  distant  plains  of  England, 
and  westward  across  St.  George's  Channel  to  the  blue  hills  of  Ireland.  In  the 
north  the  Isle  of  Man  and  Scotland  are  also  visible.  Snowdon,  during  the 
glacial  epoch,  was  a  centre  from  which  six  glaciers  descended  the  divergent 
valleys  extending  at  its  foot.  The  greatest  of  these  occupied  the  valley  of 
Llanberis,  covering  it  to  a  depth  of  1,200  feet.  At  that  time  the  llym,  or  lakes  of 
green-hued  water,  which  occupy  the  hollows  of  this  mountain  group,  were  filled 


^g  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

with  ice,  and  the  frozen  rivers  probably  extended  to  the  sea,  conveying  into  it 
the  blocks  of  rock  and  detritus  resulting  from  the  waste  of  the  mountams      The 
bards  look  upon  Snowdon  as  a  kind  of  Parnassus.     It  is  their  "  Mount  of  Awen, 
or,  of  the  Muses,  and  the  falling  in  of  its  summit  is  to  herald  the  day  of  judg- 

ment.  .  •     ^^. 

Other  summits  rise  to  the  north-east  of  the  Pass  of  Llanberis,  almost  rivallmg 
Snowdon  in  height.  Amongst  them  are  Glyder  Fawr  (3,227  feet),  Carnedd 
Dafydd  (3,430  feet),  Carnedd  Llewellyn  (3,482  feet),  and  Y  Foel  Fras  (3,091 
feet).      In  no  other  part  of  Wales  are  mountains  met  with  equalling  these  in 


Fig.  21.— Snowuon. 
Scale  1  :  425,000. 


Depth  under  5  Fathoms 


5  to  10  Fathoms 


Over  10  Fathoms. 
10  Miles. 


elevation,  and  as  many  of  them  rise  close  by  the  sea,  the  aspect  they  present 
is  bold  in  the  extreme,  and  they  remind  us,  if  not  of  the  Alps,  at  all 
events  of  their  lower  spurs.  Cader  Idris  (2,958  feet),  the  "Seat  of  Idris,"  a 
fabulous  warrior  and  astronomer,  is  a  mountain  of  volcanic  origin,  hardly  inferior 
to  Snowdon  in  the  grandeur  of  the  prospect  which  it  affords  those  who  climb 
its  craggy  summits  to  look  down ,  upon  the  chaotic  masses  of  rock  which  extend 
thence  to  Cardigan  Bay.  In  a  deep  hollow  on  its  flank  lies  Llyn  Y  Can,  one 
of  the  finest  tarns  in  the  principality.  A  branch  stretches  north-eastward  to 
the  Aran  Mowddwy  (2,970  feet)  and  Berwyn  range  (2,716  feet)  :  from  the  latter 
may  be  seen  the  valley  of  the  Dee,  and  Lake  Bala,  in  which  that  river  rises. 


WALES. 


49 


Plynlimmon*  (2,481  feet),  a  rather  tame  mountain  range  of  Silurian  slate 
containing  rich  veins  of  lead  ore,  forms  the  connecting  link  between  the 
mountains  of  North  and  South  Wales.  It  occupies  the  very  centre  of  the  princi- 
pality, and  the  Severn  and  the  Wye  have  their  origin  in  its  valleys.  The  range 
which  stretches  thence  south-westward  as  far  as  St.  David's  Head  nowhere  exceeds 
a  height  of  1,800  feet.  Another  range  extends  along  the  right  bank  of  the  Severn, 
terminating  in  Long  Mountain  (1,696  feet),  on  the  border  of  Shropshire.  The 
valley  of  the  Wye  is  bounded  on  one  side  by  Radnor  Forest,  and  on  the  other 
by  the  Epynt  Hills :  both  are  desolate  mountain  tracts,  covered  with  mosses  and 
peat  or  thin  herbage.  The  valley  of  the  Usk  separates  the  Epynt  Hills  from  the 
Black  Mountains,  or  Forest  Fawr,  the  highest  range  of  Southern  Wales,  within 
which  the  Brecknock  Beacons  attain  a  height  of  2,163  feet.  These  mountains 
are  covered  with  herbage,  and  they  derive  their  epithet  '*  black  "  from  the  dark 


Fig.  22. — The  Brecknock  Beacons. 
Scale  1  :  600,000. 


10  Miles. 


appearance  of  the  heath  when  out  of  blossom,  and  their  generally  desolate 
character.  These  hills  of  South  Wales  cannot  compare  in  picturesqueness  with 
those  of  the  north,  and  the  view  afforded  from  many  of  their  summits  often 
includes  nothing  but  bogs  or  monotonous  grassy  hills.  Less  disturbed  in  their 
geological  structure,  they  are,  on  the  other  hand,  richer  in  mineral  wealth. 
North  Wales,  besides  yielding  slate,  lead,  and  a  little  copper,  embraces  a  coal 
basin  of  small  extent,  which  is,  however,  likely  to  become  exhausted  before  the  close 
of  the  century;  but  the  carboniferous  region  which  covers  so  vast  an  area  in  the 
south  is  one  of  the  most  productive  mineral  districts  of  Great  Britain.  It  was 
first  described  by  Owen  towards  the  close  of  the  sixteenth  century.  In  area  it 
exceeds  any  one  of  the  coal  basins  of  England,  and  it  reaches  a  depth  of  no  less  than 
10,000  feet.f     Of  its  hundred  seams,  sixty-six,  of  a  total  average  thickness  of 

*  Or  rather,  Pum  Lumen,  or  "  Peak  of  Five  Points." 
t  Edward  Hull,  "  The  Coalfields  of  Great  Britain." 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 
50 

80  feet  are  being  worked,  and  the  quantity  of  coal  which  it  is  posBible  to  extract 
ou  leei,  are  oemg  ^      a  ..tV.  than    4  000  feet  is  estimated  by  Vivian 

without  descending  to  a  greater  depth  than   4,UUU  lee  : 

and  Clark  at  more  than  36.000,000,000  tons.  In  the  west  the  seams  jield 
anthra  ite  but  in  proportion  as  we  proceed  eastward  the  coal  becomes  more  and 
:t  it u'lous.  the  gases  enclosed  in  it  often  giving  rise  ^  "  ^Pf  ^i 
the  frequent  recurrence  of  which  is  a  calamity  which  -S^*  g-^'^Jy  be  obvi- 
ated by  judicious  cautionary  measures.  So  fiery  is  some  of  this  Welsh  coal,  that 
after  having  been  placed  on  shipboard  it  will  ignite  spontaneously. 

The  resLches  of  men  of  science  have  conclusively  proved  that  Wales  within 
recent  geological  time,  has  undergone  variations  of  level.  Marine  shells  of  living 
species  were  discovered  as  long  ago  as  1831  near  the  summit  of  Moel  Tryfaen, 

Fig.  23.— Erosive  Action  on  the  Coast  of  South  Wales. 
Scale  1  :  100.000. 


Granite  or      Volcanic 
Syenite.         Rocks. 


Lower 
Silurian. 


Upper 
Hiluiian. 


Devonian 

Sandstone. 


Millstone  Carboniferous     Coal 
Grit.         Limestone.    Measures. 


10  Miles. 


to  the  south  of  the  Menai  Strait,  at  an  elevation  of  1,400  feet  above  the 
level  of  the  sea.  This  discovery  has  been  confirmed  and  followed  tip  by  other 
geologists,  including  Edward  Forbes,  Prestwich,  Ramsay,  Darwin,  and  Lyell. 
Mr.  Darbishire  has  found  fifty-seven  marine  molluscs  in  the  upheaved  strata 
which  during  the  post-pliocene  epoch  formed  the  beach,  and  all  these  shells  belong 
to  species  which  still  live  in  the  neighbouring  sea  or  in  the  Arctic  Ocean.  The 
general  character  of  this  ancient  fauna  points  to  a  climate  as  rigorous  as  that  of 
Iceland  or  Spitzbergen.  The  British  seas  were  colder  at  that  time  than  now, 
and  when  the  land  once  more  emerged  from  the  sea  these  shell  banks  became 
covered  with  the  detritus  brought  down  by  glaciers.* 

*  Lyell.  "  Elements  of  Geology.'* 


WALES. 


51 


These  variations  of  level  are  perhaps  still  going  on.  They  must  have  singu- 
larly increased  the  effects  of  erosion,  as  exercised  upon  the  rocks  and  coasts  of  Wales. 
The  carboniferous  formation  of  South  Wales  originally  occupied  an  oval-shaped 
basin  of  pretty  regular  contour,  surrounded  concentrically  by  beds  of  more  ancient 
age,  but  it  has  been  visibly  encroached  upon  by  the  floods  of  the  Atlantic.  The 
peninsula  of  Gower,  to  the  west  of  Swansea,  is  nothing  but  the  remains  of  an 
ancient  promontory,  formed  of  carboniferous  and   Devonian   rocks.     St.  Bride's 

Fig.  24. — Epfects  of  Erosion  on  the  Coast  of  South  Wales  :  the  Huntsman's  Leap. 


Bay,  at  the  south-western  angle  of  Wales,  is  the  result  of  the  continued  erosive 
action  of  the  sea.  The  two  promontories  which  bound  it  on  the  north  and  south 
are  composed  in  a  large  measure  of  hard  rock,  capable  of  resisting  the  onslaught  of 
the  sea,  but  the  softer  intervening  rocks  of  the  carboniferous  formation  have  been 
washed  away,  and  their  place  is  occupied  now  by  a  bay  of  strikingly  regular  con- 
tours.*    The  erosive  action  of  rain  and  running  water  has  completely  changed  the 

The  Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Great  Britain." 


6S 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


surface  features  of  the  interior  of  the  principality.  A  large  portion  of  South  Wales, 
anciently  covered  hv  the  sea.  has.  sinee  its  emorgonco,  been  sculptured  by  the  sur- 
face  watVr  into  the  'succession  of  ravines,  glens,  and  valleys  which  now  intersect 
the  basins  of  the  Usk.  Wye,  and  other  rivers,  for  the  most  part  designated  by 
the  same  nun,.,  slightly  m.«liHed.  as  Taf,  Tawey,  Towey,  Taivi,  or  Dafty.  The 
hill-tops  and  isolated  tublo-lands  of  Cardiganshire  rise  to  an  ideal  line  which 
.vscends  tronllv  as  we  proceed  to  the  eastward,  and  it  is  thus  clear  that  the  inequdi- 

JfHg. 'io.-- The  SuwiiXiiiuN  Biuuok,  Mknai  Stuait. 


ties  of  the  surface  must  be  of  coraparatively  recent  oricrin,  whilsjk  the  hills  are  the 
remains  of  an  ancient  plateau  which  had  a  gentle  slope  to  the  westward 

A  few  rooky  islands  have  been  severed  by  the  waves  of  the  ocean  from  the  coast 
of  South  Wales,  but  Anglesey  is  the  only  large  island  of  the  principality.  It 
formed  originally  a  portion  of  North  Wales.  Of  its  ancient  connection  with  the 
neighbouring  mainland  there  can  be  no  doubt,  for  the  geological  formations  on 
both  sides  of  the  Menai  Strait  correspond.  The  dividing  strait  passes  through 
carboniferous  rocks,  bedded  between  Silurian  strata  and  rocks  of  porphyry.  Pro- 
fessor Ramsjiy  is  of  opinion  that  the  valley  now  occupied  by  the  strait  is  of 
glacial  origin,  and  was  scooped  out.  not  by  the  glaciers  of  Snowdon,  which  never 
reached  so  far,  but  by  those  of  Cumberland.*  If  it  is  true  that  horsemen  were 
formerly,  able  to  cross  the  strait  at  low  water,  great  changes  must  have  taken 

•  Qttmi^jf  Jotrrmil  of  tAt  G€oloiric«f  Sociriy,  May,  1866. 


«Bd  tl»^  tumtnX 
^-T:%auit  IWUaor  Br 
uptm  it;.     TV«  Wd^  Ws  ^. 

^(■wk,  Wtil  loA 

ii^iiollASM^  "ittad  States,  V 

Hwe  tiie  moist  r;  tkft  I>: 

looiHtr;»  sufWHMifML  tm  all  sides  W  « 


54 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


over  the  inhabitants  of  Britain  which  is  born  of  mystery.  Some  historians  are 
even  of  opinion  that  Anglesey  was  visited  by  the  priests  of  Gaul,  in  order  to  be 
initiated  into  the  secret  rites  of  Druidism.  Ancient  ruins,  known  as  Terr  Drew 
and  Terr  Beirdd— that  is,  Druids'  or  Bards*  dwellings— still  exist  ;*  but  in  fact  the 
whole  of  Wales  is  one  huge  temple,  if  not  of  Druid  worship,  at  all  events  of  the 
religion  that  preceded  it ;  and  everywhere  we  meet  with  caerns,  springs,  and  ruins, 
which  commemorate  some  miracle  or  the  mythical  feats  of  the  Cymric  ancestors  of 
the  modern  Welsh.  In  these  records  of  ancient  Wales  Christian  legends  are 
mingled  with  heathen  fables,  which  latter  survive  to  this  day,  outwardly  adapted 
to  the  changing  spirit  of  the  times.  Cromlechs  are  as  numerous  as  in  Brittany, 
and   equally  respected,  for  in  their   presence  the  Welshman  feels   himself  the 

Fig.  27.— The  Bridges  over  Menai  Strait. 
Scale  1  :  25,000. 


i 


Foreshore. 


Depth  under  15  feet.  Depth  over  35  feet, 

_i^^^  Half  a  Mile. 


descendant  of  an  ancient  race.  The  name  of  some  ancient  hero  is  attached  to 
nearly  every  one  of  these  stones.  The  large  cromlech  in  the  peninsula  of  Gower, 
to  the  west  of  Swansea,  is  thus  dedicated  to  King  Arthur,  the  legendary 
King  of  Old  Wales.  An  oval  pit,  Caerleon,  near  Newport,  which  excavations 
have  clearly  shown  to  be  the  site  of  a  Roman  amphitheatre,  is  popularly  identified 
with  Arthur's  Round  Table,  at  which  the  King  sat  with  his  knights  when  they 
came  back  from  their  chivalrous  expeditions.  Near  Carmarthen,  long  the  capital 
of  the  Welsh,  a  grotto  is  pointed  out,  in  which  the  fay  Vivian  kept  Merlin  the 
magician  a  prisoner.  In  another  part  of  Wales,  at  the  base  of  Plynlimmon,  near 
the  village  of  Tre  Taliesin,  tradiiion  points  out  the  burial-place  of  Taliesin,  the 
*  Alph.  Esquiros,  "  L'Angleterre  et  la  vie  anglaise." 


WALES.  55 

famous  bard — a  circular  mound,  ancieutly  surrounded  by  two  circles  of  stones. 
If  any  one  sleep  upon  tbis  grave  be  will  arise  eitber  a  poet  or  a  madman.  It  was 
to  tbis  mound  tbat  tbe  bards  wended  tbeir  steps  in  searcb  of  inspiration  wben 
desirous  of  composing  tribannau,  or  "triads."  Owing  to  tbeir  symbolism,  tbe 
meaning  of  tbese  triads  often  escaped  tbe  profane,  but  some  of  tbem  deserve  to  be 
remembered  for  all  time.  "  Tbree  tbings  tbere  are,"  one  of  tbem  tells  us,  "  wbich 
were  contemporaneous  from  tbe  beginning — Man,  Liberty,  Ligbt."* 

Tbe  Welsb,  notwitb standing  tbe  extension  of  Voads  and  railways,  of  manufac- 
turing industry  and  commerce,  bave  kept  alive  tbeir  national  traditions  and  tbeir 
language.  Tbe  principality  of  Wales  bas  ceased  to  exist  as  an  independent  countrv 
since  tbe  middle  of  tbe  tbirteentb  century ;  nevertbeless  tbe  Welsb,  wbo  call 
tbemselves  **Cymry" — tbat  is,  "tbey  tbat  bave  a  common  fatberland"t — look 
upon  tbemselves  as  a  separate  people,  and  bave  often  attempted  to  tbrow  off  tbe 
yoke  of  tbe  Englisb  kings.  Like  tbe  Bretons  of  France,  tbeir  kinsmen  by  race  and 
language,  tbey  seized  tbe  opportunities  afforded  by  tbe  civil  wars  in  wbicb  tbe 
nation,  to  wbicb  tbey  bad  been  attacbed  by  force,  found  itself  involved.  Tbus 
in  tbe  seventeentb  century  tbey  were  ardent  Royalists,  boping  tbereby  to  establish 
indirectly  tbeir  claim  to  national  independence.  During  tbe  seven  years  tbe  war 
lasted  tbe  Welsb  remained  faitbful  to  King  Cbarles,  wbose  cause  tbey  bad 
embraced  as  if  it  were  tbeir  own,  and  Cromwell  found  bimself  obliged  to  storm 
several  of  tbeir  strongbolds.  But  tbis  was  tbe  last  struggle,  and  tbe  public  peace 
bas  not  since  been  disturbed,  unless,  perbaps,  during  tbe  so-called  Rebecca  riots 
in  1843,  wben  bodies  of  men,  disguised  as  women  ("Rebecca  and  ber  Daughters  "), 
overran  tbe  country,  and  made  war  upon  turnpike  toll  collectors.  Since  1746 
tbe  "principality"  of  Wales  bas  formed  politically  a  portion  of  England.  In 
matters  of  religion,  bowever,  tbere  exist  certain  contrasts  between  tbe  Welsb  and 
English  ;  but  these  are  the  very  reverse  of  what  may  be  observed  in  France,  where 
the  Bretons  are  far  more  zealous  adherents  of  the  old  faith  than  the  French.  The 
Welsh,  being  addicted  to  mysticism,  as  enthusiastic  as  they  are  choleric,  passionately 
fond  of  controversy,  and  impatient  of  rules  laid  down  by  strangers,  naturally  rejected 
the  episcopal  rites  adhered  to  by  a  majority  in  England.  Most  of  them  are 
Dissenters ;  Calvinistic  Methodists,  Baptists,  and  Congregationalists  being  most 
numerously  represented.  +  About  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century,  when 
Whitefield,  the  famous  preacher,  passed  through  the  valleys  of  Wales,  religious 
fervour  revived  throughout  the  principality,  and  in  the  smallest  hamlet  might  be 
heard  hymns,  prayers,  and  vehement  religious  discourses.  The  Welsh  Dissent- 
ing bodies  have  even  anticipated  their  English  brethren  in  several  religious 
movements.  It  was  they  who  established  the  oldest  Bible  Society  and  the 
first  Sunday  schools.  Tbey  maintain  a  mission  in  Brittany  for  the  purpose  of 
converting  their  kinsmen  separated  from  them  by  the  ocean.  Still,  in  spite  of 
all  this  religious  zeal,  the  Welsh  are  inferior  to  the  English'  as  regards  general 

*  Pictet,  '*  Mystferes  des  Bardes,  Cj^rinach  Beirdd  Ynys  Prydain." 
t  H.  Gaidoz,  Revue  des  Leux-Mondes,  May  1st,  1876. 

X  There  are  in  the  principality  1,145  churches  of  the  Establishment,  and  about  3,000  chapels  o£ 
Dissenters,  and  in  the  vast  majority  of  these  latter  the  services  are  conducted  in  Welsh. 


56 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


education.      Their    principality,    together    with    the    neighbouring    county    of 
Lancashire,  exhibits  the  blackest  tint  on  a  map  showing  the  state  of  illiteracy.* 

Welsh,  though  a  guttural  language,  is  nevertheless  full  of  harmony.  Its  chief 
feature  consists  in  the  mutation  of  certain  consonants  at  the  beginning  of  words, 
and  it  bears  a  greater  resemblance  to  the  Breton  of  Armorica  and  ancient  Cornish 
than  to  the  Gaelic  spoken  in  Scotland  and  Ireland.f  The  language  is  in  a  better 
state  of  preservation  than  Breton,  and  boasts  of  a  literature  incomparably  richer. 
Theological  works  occupy  a  prominent  place,  and  it  is  probably  owing  to  the  zeal 
of  preachers  bent  upon  the  saving  of  souls  that  Welsh  has  not  fallen  into 
disuse.:}:  The  first  Welsh  book  was  printed  in  1546.  This  was  merely  an 
almanac,  but  it  was  succeeded,  in  the  following  year,  by  the  first  English- Welsh 
dictionary.  During  the  present  century  Welsh  literature  has  been  enriched  with 
periodical  publications,  journals,  and  reviews,  besides  numerous  popular  songs  and 
tales  discovered  in  the  libraries  of  the  country.  But  many  other  precious  documents, 
still  hidden  away  in  libraries,  ought  to  be  published,  for  it  was  from  Wales  that 
mediaeval  Europe  received  the  traditions  and  poems  of  Arthur's  Eound  Table. 
The  study  of  ancient  Welsh  is  now  pursued  by  many  savants,  and  not  only  brings 
to  light  literary  fragments  of  high  value,  but  also  exercises  an  important  influence 
upon  the  study  of  other  Celtic  languages,  including  even  those  which  survive 
only  in  the  names  of  places.  As  to  the  Welsh  themselves,  they  have  an  abiding 
love  for  their  ancient  language,  and  cling  to  it  with  great  tenacity.  The 
eisteddfodau,  or  musical  and  literary  meetings,  which  have  taken  the  place  of 
the  ancient  gorsedd,  or  court  of  justice,  held  by  the  Druids,  are  highly  popular. 
Tradition  names  King  Arthur — magician,  priest,  and  king — as  having  instituted 
these  meetings,  and  awarded  prizes  to  the  best  players  on  the  teii/n,  or  Welsh 
harp.  Even  now  the  victorious  bards,  musicians,  and  singers  are  frequently 
crowned  in  his  name,  and  the  president,  standing  upon  a  cromlech,  still  opens 
the  proceedings  by  pronouncing  the  time-honoured  and  noble  formula  of  "  The 
Truth  against  the  World."  §  So  great  is  the  love  which  the  Welshman  bears  his 
mother  tongue,  that  these  eisteddfodau  are  held  not  in  Wales  only,  where  the 
language   is  spoken  by   over  900,000  persons,  II  but  also   at  Birkenhead,  in  the 

*  Lord  Aberdare,  at  the  Eisteddfod  of  Birkenhead,  in  1878. 

t  Latham,  "Ethnology  of  the  British  Islands." 

i  H.  Gaidoz,  Jievue  des  I)eux-Mondes,  May  1st,  1876. 

§  Alfred  Emy  et  Henri  Martin,  "  Tour  du  monde,"  t.  xv.  1867. 

II  Geographical  Distribution  of  the  Welsh-speaking  Population  of  Wales. 


Districts  in  which  Welsh  is  spoken  by 
a  majority    ..... 

Districts  in  which  it  is  spoken  by  25 
to  50  per  cent 

Districts  in  which  it  is  spoken  by  less 
than  25  per  cent,  of  the  in- 
habitants     .         . 

Total 


Area. 
Sq.M. 

Populatioii. 

Persons  speaking 
No.            Per  Cent. 

Persons 
speaking 
Enplish,  OT 
Welsh  and 
English. 
Per  Cent. 

6,050 

1,025,573 

887,870 

86-5 

81-7 

357 

113,030 

38,046 

33-7 

96-8 

1,501 

174,080 
1,312,583 

8,614 

4-9 

71-2 

1000 

7,908 

934,530 

85-5 

(E.  G.  Ravenstein,  Journal  Statistical  Society,  1879.) 


WALES. 


57 


New  World,  and  even  in  Australia.  "Wherever  Welsli  emigrants  settle  down  in 
numbers,  the  Cymraeg  is  spoken  side  by  side  with  Sassenach,  or  Saxon.  At 
Liverpool  there  are  some  twenty  chapels  in  which  the  services  are  conducted  in 
Welsh,  and  a  journal  is  published  in  Cymraeg.*  The  Welsh  in  the  United  States 
cocasionally  meet  in  order  to  sing  and  declaim  in  the  language  of  the  ancient 


Fig.  28.— Linguistic  Map  of  Wales. 
By  E.  G.  Ravenstein. 


Proportion  of  Celtic-speaking  Inhabitants, 
25  to  50  p.c. 


50  to  90  p.c. 


Over  90  p.c. 


bards ;  and  the  indomitable  colonists  who,  notwithstanding  the  difficulties  they 
encountered,  founded  a  'New  Wales  in  Patagonia,  retain  the  use  of  their 
mother  tongue,  and  the  Rio  Chuput,  on  the  banks  of  which  they  established  their 
settlement,  has  been  renamed  by  them  Afon  Llwyd,  or  "  Grey  River.'*  Through- 
out the  world  Welsh  is  spoken  by  far  above  1,000,000  human  beings. 

Nevertheless  the  Celtic  spoken  by  the  Cymry  of  Wales  would  appear  to  be  doomed 

*  Throughout  England  there  are  about  110  chapels  in  which  the  services  are  conducted  in  Welsh. 
101— E 


58  '  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

to  extinction,  and  a  time  must  come  when  it  will  survive  only  among  philologists. 
Many  use  it  from  patriotic  motives,  others  employ  it  to  gratify  their  craving  after 
literarv  honours.  All  men  of  education  learn  to  think  in  English,  and  even  at 
the  eisteddfodau  the  language  of  the  conquering  Saxon  struggles  for  pre-eminence 
with  that  of  the  vanquished  Celt.  It  even  happens  occasionally  that  the  president 
of  these  meetings  is  ignorant  of  the  language  in  which  most  of  the  poetry  is  being 
recited.  Although  Welsh  is  still  general  throughout  the  greater  portion  of  Wales, 
even  in  the  towns,  and  in  the  western  part  of  Monmouthshire,  English  nevertheless 
is  rapidly  gaining  ground.  It  is  virtually  the  language  of  civilisation,  and  the 
only  means  of  communicating  with  the  outside  world.  Its  use  is  general  in  all  the 
schools — the  Sunday  schools  attached  to  chapels  excepted — and  it  is  rare  nowa- 
days to  meet  with  young  people  unable  to  converse  in  English.  A  knowledge  of  the 
old  mother  tongue  is  thus  daily  becoming  of  less  service,  and,  together  with  the 
old-fashioned  heavy  cloaks  and  the  men's  hats  worn  by  women,  is  being  put  aside. 
The  number  of  persons  of  Welsh  origin  scattered  throughout  the  world,  who  have 
completely  forgotten  the  language  of  their  ancestors,  is  probably  greater  than  that 
of  the  Welsh  who  remain  at  home,  and  still  speak  it.  At  all  events  we  might 
conclude  that  such  is  the  case  from  the  large  number  of  Welsh  family  names  met 
with  in  all  English-speaking  countries,  nearly  all  of  them  being  modifications  of 
Christian  names,  such  as  Jones — the  most  frequent  of  all — Roberts,  Edwards, 
Humphreys,  and  P'ugh,  P'owel,  P'robert,  Ap'jones  (son  of  Ugh,  Owel,  Robert,  or 
Jones).  In  the  United  States  alone  there  are  supposed  to  reside  3,000,000 
persons  of  Welsh  descent,  of  whom  hardly  a  third  have  remained  faithful  to  the 
language  of  their  ancestors.*  Most  of  these  Welsh  have  become  as  good  Americans 
as  the  pilgrim  fathers  of  New  Plyraquth,  and  the  Welshmen  of  Great  Britain  can 
hardly  be  serious  when  they  claim  Thomas  Jefferson  as  one  of  their  compatriots. 
But  the  native  genius  of  the  race  survives  in  a  thousand  new  forms,  and  in  this 
sense  the  Cymry  can  still  repeat  their  ancient  motto,  "  Tra  mor,  tra  Briton." 

Topography. 

The  ancient  feudal  cities  of  Wales  present  a  striking  contrast  to  the  modern 
towns  which  have  sprung  into  existence  at  the  call  of  industry.  The  former,  irregular 
and  picturesque,  with  the  ruins  of  one  of  the  twenty-six  strongholds  of  the  country 
perched  on  a  commanding  rock,  are  possessed  of  individual  features,  and  have  long 
ere  this  been  wedded  as  it  were  to  the  charming  country  which  surrounds  them. 
The  latter,  on  the  other  hand,  are  generally  mere  agglomerations  of  buildings 
prematurely  blackened.  Their  only  monuments  are  factory  chimneys,  and  they 
encroach  on  the  surrounding  fields,  without  that  softening  of  their  lines  which 
would  bring  them  into  harmony  with  surrounding  nature. 

Flintshitie  (Ffi.int),  the  north-easternmost  county  of  Wales,  stretches  inland 
from  the  estuary  of  the  river  Dee.  Its  surface  along  that  river,  and  more  especially 
in  the  tract  known  as  Sealand,  is  level,   but  the  interior  is  beautifully  diversified 

*  Thomas,  "Hanes  Cymry  America." 


FLINTSHIRE. 


59 


by  hills,  which  in  the  Moel  Fammau  ("  Mother  of  Hills  ")  attain  an  elevation  of  1,823 
feet.  Coal  and  lead  abound,  and  there  are  also  iron  works,  but  the  manufacturing 
industry  is  of  little  importance. 

Haimrden,  near  which  there .  are  some  potteries,  overlooks  the  alluvial  plain 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Dee.  Mold  lies  some  4  miles  inland,  on  the  Alyn,  a 
tributary  of  the  Dee:  the  hills  enclosing  it  are  rich  in  coal  and  oil  shale,  whilst 
the  river  turns  the  wheels 'of  several  paper-mills. 

Flint,  the  county  town,  with  large  chemical  works  and  collieries,  lead  mines  and 
paper-mills,  in  its  neighbourhood,  was  formerly  accessible  to  large  vessels,  but  its 
silted-up  port  now  admits  only  small  coasting  vessels.    Four  miles  to  the  west  of  it 

Fig.  29. — The  Sands  of  the  Dee,  from  above  Bagilt. 


lies  the  ancient  town  of  Holywell  (Trefynnon),  1  mile  from  the  estuary  of  the  Dee. 
It  has  lead  mines,  lime-kilns,  and  Roman  cement  works,  and  supplies  the  potteries 
of  Staffordshire  with  chert,  but  is  celebrated  more  especially  for  its  copious  and 
miraculous  well,  dedicated  to  St.  Winifrid,  and  formerly  a  noted  place  of  pilgrim- 
age and  source  of  wealth  to  the  adjoining  Abbey  of  Basingwerk.  A  few  miles 
inland  lies  Caerivys,  the  ''Fortress  of  Assize,"  which  up  to  1672  was  the  county 
town,  and  famous  for  its  eisteddfods,  but  is  now  of  little  note.  Mostyn,  a  small 
port  below  Holywell,  exports  coal  from  the  collieries  in  its  neighbourhood, 
whilst  Rhyl,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Elwy,  has  become  a  favourite  seaside  resort. 
Proceeding  up  the  Elwy,  past  Rhuddlan  and   its  marshes,  where  Offa,  King  of 


QQ  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

Mercia,  in  795,  annihilated  the  Welsh,  fighting  under  the  leadership  of  Caradoc, 
the  lofty  spires  of  the  cathedral  of  St.  Asaph  indicate  our  approach  to  the  charming 
Yale  of    Clwyd,  the  greater  part  of  which  lies  in  the  neighbouring   county  of 

Denbighshire.  i     t:.     t  -. 

A  detached  portion  of  Flintshire  lies  to  the  south-east,  between  the  English 
counties  of  Cheshire  and  Shropshire.  This  is  known  as  the  Maelor  Saesneg,  or 
''  Saxon  Land,"  and  Welsh  has  not  been  heard  there  since  the  days  of  Henry  VIII. 
This  smaU  tract  of  country  abounds  in  curious  old  villages,  the  most  remarkable 
amongst themheing Bangor Isi/coed  (-Under  the  Wood"),  or Monachor urn,  famous 
for  its  monastery,  supposed  to  have  been  founded  about  the  year  180  by  the  first 
Christian  King  of  Britain ;  but  of  this  not  a  vestige  remains  at  the  present  day. 

Fii2-.  30.~  Rkmains  of  Vallb  Orucis  Akbey. 


Denbighshire  (Dinbych)  is  a  somewhat  straggling  county,  extending  from 
the  broad  Vale  of  the  Dee  to  the  Irish  Sea,  between  the  rivers  Elwy  and  Conway. 
The  greater  portion  of  its  surface  is  hilly,  and  fit  only  for  pasture,  but  it  is  inter- 
sected bv  several  fruitful  valleys,  the  most  extensive  being  that  of  the  Clwyd. 

Wrexham  and  Ruabon,  the  two  most  populous  towns  of  the  county,  lie  in  the  east, 
close  to  Watt's  Dyke,  which  separates  the  Vale  of  the  Dee  from  the  hilly  part  of 
the  county,  and  which  was  thrown  up  by  the  Saxons  as  a  defence  against  the  Welsh. 
Both  these  towns  depend  upon  coal  and  iron  for  their  livelihood,  and  the  former 
likewise  produces  some  flannel.  The  dyke  referred  to,  as  well  as  that  of  Offa,  to 
the  south  of  the  Dee,  approximately  marks  the  linguistic  boundary ;  and  whilst 
Wrexham,  to  the  east  of  it,  is  virtually  an  English  town,  Ruabon,  on  its  farther 
side,  is  almost  wholly  Welsh,  and  is  becoming  more  so  every  day,  owing  to  the 


DENBIGHSHIEE— CAENAEVONSHIRE.  61 

immigration  of  Welsh  labourers.  Above  Euabon  the  Dee  flows  through  the 
romantic  Vale  of  Llangollen,  where  limestone  quarrying  and  burning,  slate  quarry- 
ing, and  the  weaving  of  flannel  are  carried  on  extensively.  Near  the  small 
town  of  Llangollen  stand  the  remains  of  Valle  Cruets  Abbey,  the  most  picturesque 
ruin  of  the  kind  in  North  Wales. 

The  Vale  of  Ckvyd,  which  opens  out  upon  the  Irish  Sea  between  Ehyl  and 
Abergele,  is  inferior  to  that  of  Llangollen  in  picturesque  features,  but  far  surpasses 
it  in  fruitfulness.  Denbigh,  the  capital  of  the  county,  rises  in  its  midst  on  a  steep 
limestone  hill  crowned  b}^  a  ruined  castle.  It  was  formerly  noted  for  its  glovers, 
tanners,  and  shoemakers,  but  not  lying  on  a  natural  high-road  of  commerce,  it  has 
not  become  very  populous,  though  of  some  importance  as  the  centre  of  a  fine 
agricultural  district.  It  is  nevertheless  one  of  the  most  pleasant  towns  to  visit. 
The  prospect  from  its  castle  over  the  wide  valley  is  magnificent,  and  the  town 
abounds  in  quaint  timbered  buildings,  with  overhanging  stories  and  gabled  roofs. 
Higher  up  the  valley  stands  Ruthin,  a  picturesque  town,  known  for  its  artificial 
mineral  waters. 

Llanrivst  is  the  only  place  of  note  on  the  river  Conway,  which  forms  the 
western  boundary  of  Denbighshire,  and  is  navigable  to  within  a  short  distance  of 
the  village.  Gwydyr  Castle  and  the  chalybeate  springs  of  Trefrew  lie  within 
Carnarvonshire. 

CarnarvoivSHIre  (Arfon)  is  one  of  the  most  mountainous  counties  of  Wales, 
for  within  its  borders  rise  the  ranges  of  Snowdon,  the  fastnesses  of  which  afforded 
a  last  refuge  to  the  Welsh  when  struggling  for  their  independence.  The  south- 
western portion  of  the  county,  terminating  in  the  bold  promontory  of  Braich-y- 
PwU,  off"  which  lies  Bardsey  Island  (Ynys  Enlli),  is  less  elevated.  Sheep-farming 
and  slate  quarrying  constitute  the  principal  occupations  of  the  inhabitants. 

The  district  of  Creuddyn,  with  the  bold  promontory  of  Orme's  Head,  though 
lying  to  the  east  of  the  Conway,  forms  a  part  of  Carnarvonshire,  Llandudno, 
one  of  the  most  attractive  seaside  resorts  in  Great  Britain,  is  situate  within  that 
detacned  portion  of  the  county.  The  copper  mines  of  Great  Orme's  Head  have 
been  worked  from  time  immemorial,  and  were  formerly  exceedingly  productive. 

Conway,  an  ancient  city  enclosed  within  a  lofty  wall,  formerly  defended  the 
difficult  road  along  the  coast,  and  the  estuary  of  the  river  upon  the  left  bank  of 
which  it  has  been  built.  The  construction  of  the  railway  embankments  and  of 
the  bridges  over  the  river  proved  very  costly.  The  tubular  railway  bridge  is  built 
in  the  massive  architectural  style  of  the  castle  which  commands  it.  Bangor, 
at  the  northern  entrance  of  Menai  Strait,  is  for  the  most  part  of  modern 
origin.  Near  it  the  railway  bifurcates,  one  branch  conducting  the  traveller 
across  the  strait  to  Holyhead,  and  the  other  carrying  him  to  Carnarvon.  Bangor 
is  a  favourite  resort  of  tourists,  affording  unusual  facilities  for  exploring 
delightful  valleys,  climbing  lofty  mountains,  and  visiting  interesting  castles 
perched  upon  capes  or  the  spurs  of  the  hills.  The  town  is  largely  indebted  to 
the  neighbouring  slate  quarries  for  its  prosperity.  Port  Ptnrhyn,  whence  the 
slate  of  the  famous  Penrhyn  quarries  is  exported,  lies  close  to  it.     Proceeding  up 


(52  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

the  beautiful  valley  of  Nant  Francon,  and  passing  through  Bethesda,  a  town  of 
quarrymen,  we  reach  the  Penrhyn  quarries  after  a  five-mile  walk.  They  form 
one  of  the  busiest  hives  of  human  industry.  Tier  rises  above  tier  around  a  huge 
amphitheatre ;  locomotives,  dragging  long  trains  of  trucks  laden  with  slate,  pass 
incessantly  ;  and  at  short  intervals  flashes  of  light  and  puff's  of  smoke,  followed  by 
loud  reports,  announce  the  firing  of  blasting  charges.  About  3,000  workmen 
are  permanently  employed  in  these  quarries,  and  if  we  would  obtain  an  idea  of 
the  quantity  of  slate  already  removed,  we  need  merely  glance  at  the  rugged 
pyramids  which  rise  like  lowers  in  the  centre  of  the  amphitheatre.  The  slate  from 
these  quarries  finds  its  way  to  all  parts  of  the  world.  Several  towns  in  Norway 
have  their  houses  covered  with  it,*  and  it  is  also  exported  to  America.  The  annual 
produce  of  the  quarries  is  estimated  at  70,000  tons,  worth  £160,000« 

Carmrvon  (Caer-yn-ar-fon),  capital  of  the  county,  and  formerly  of  the  whole  of 
North  Wales,  retains  the  lofty  walls  of  its  feudal  castle,  and  near  it  may  be  seen 
the  ruins  of  the  Roman  station  of  Seguntium.  Like  Bangor,  it  depends  upon  fishing, 
quarrying,  and  its  coasting  trade  for  its  prosperity,  and  is  also  a  great  favourite 
with  tourists,  who  crowd  its  streets  and  environs  during  the  summer  Near  it  are 
the  slate  quarries  of  Binorwic,  and  others  on  the  slopes  of  the  Pass  of  Llanberis,  to 
the  north  of  Snowdon.  These  quarries  are  hardly  inferior  to  those  of  Penrhyn. 
Their  debris  is  unfortunately  gradually  filling  up  Llyn  Peris,  and  disfiguring  one  of 
the  most  charming  prospects  in  the  country.  Other  quarries  lie  in  the  south,  near 
Kantk. 

Nevin,  Pwllheli,  and  Criccieth  are  old  towns  with  small  ports  in  the  south- 
western part  of  the  county,  but  they  are  exceeded  in  importance  by  Tremadoc  and 
Portmadoc,  both  founded  in  the  beginning  of  the  century,  partly  upon  soil  won 
from  the  estuary  of  Glas  Llyn.  Portmadoc  is  the  shipping  port  of  Ffestiniog,  in 
Merionethshire,  with  which  a  miniature  railway  connects  it. 

Anglesey  (Mona),  owing  to  its  position  in  advance  of  the  mainland  and 
opposite  to  the  Bay  of  Dublin,  has  at  all  times  been  a  place  of  traffic,  contrasting 
in  this  respect  with  the  mountainous  parts  of  Wales,  whose  inhabitants  lived  in 
seclusion,  and  came  but  little  into  contact  with  strangers.  Gently  undulating, 
fertile  throughout,  and  possessed  of  productive  veins  of  copper,  Anglesey  held  out 
inducements  to  colonists.  The  Druids,  whom  Tiberius  caused  to  be  expelled  from 
Gaul,  sought  a  refuge  here.  The  old  bards  speak  of  Anglesey  as  the  "shady 
island  ;  "  but  the  forests  which  justified  this  epithet  have  long  disappeared,  and  the 
surface  of  the  country  is  now  almost  treeless.  The  gardens  of  Anglesey  are  noted 
on  account  of  the  variety  of  their  produce.  The  climate  is  mild  and  equable,  and  even 
bamboos  grow  in  the  open  air.  Anglesey,  owing  to  its  great  fertility,  was  known 
in  former  times  as  "  Mona,  mam  Cymri ;  "  that  is,  "  The  Mother  of  Cambria.'' 

Beaumaris,  the  capital,  at  the  northern  entrance  of  the  Menai  Strait,  boasts  of 
an  old  castle,  is  a  favourite  seaside  resort,  and  carries  on  a  considerable  trade  with 
England,  several  thousand  coasting  vessels  annually  frequenting  its  port.  Amlwch, 
on   the    north   coast,   derives  its   importance   from   the  copper  mines   in   Parys 

*  Carl  Vogt,  "  Nordfahrt." 


iH!iiiiii!r.iiiiiiriiiiiiii!i!ii!iiii:i'ii;iiiiiiii;n:nii:iiii.i,hii!iiiiiiii;i'iiF!!iiiiiii; :;'!!' "'TT'^ 


liiiii 


fmmi 


I 


ANGLESEY. 


63 


Mountain,  a  couple  of  miles  to  the  south  of  the  town.  They  were  discovered  in 
1768.  Holyhead  (Caer  Gybi),  on  a  smaller  island  lying  ofE  the  west  coast  of 
Anglesey,  to  which  it  is  joined  by  a  railway  embankment  and  an  old  bridge,  has 
attained  considerable  importance  as  the  nearest  port  to  Ireland.  Holyhead  may 
almost  be  called  an  outport  of  London,  and  engineering  works  on  a  large  scale 
have  been  completed  to  adapt  it  to  the  requirements  of  the  increasing  trade 
between  England  and  Ireland,  and  as  a  harbour  of  refuge  for  vessels  trading  to 
Liverpool.  Two  breakwaters,  with  a  total  length  of  9,860  feet,  planned  by 
J.  M.  Rendel,  and  completed  by  Sir  J.  Hawksley  in  1873,  protect  a  harbour  with 
an  area  of  267  acres.     They  are  built  upon  rubble  mounds,  250  feet  wide  at  the 


Fig.  31. — HoL-YHEAD  Uarbouk. 
Scale  1  :  50,000. 


W.ofGr.    4*40' 


4'36' 


Depth  under  5  Fathoms. 


5  to  10  Fathoms. 
___  Haifa  MUe. 


Over  10  i  athoms. 


surface  of  the  water,  and  their  solid  walls,  rising  to  a  height  of  38  feet,  form  a 
noble  promenade.  The  stones  for  these  works  were  furnished  by  the  neighbouring 
hills.  Mariners  may  well  have  bestowed  the  epithet  of  "  Holy  "  upon  so  con- 
spicuous a  promontory,  even  though  a  monastery  had  not  been  established  at  its 
foot  until  the  seventh  century  after  Christ.  A  fine  lighthouse  rises  at  the  head  (jf 
the  breakwater,  which,  with  the  light  on  the  Skerries,  6  miles  to  the  north  of  it, 
points  out  the  road  to  Liverpool. 

Llangefni  and  Llanerchymedd  are  the  principal  towns  in  the  interior  of  the 
island,  the  former  having  collieries,  whilst  the  latter  is  famous  for  its  cattle  fairs 
and  snuff.      A  remarkable  cromlech,  known  as  "  Arthur's  Quoit,"  stands  near  it. 


64 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


Meeionethshire  (Metetonydd)  is  perhaps  the  most  mountainous  county  of 
all  Wales,  although  Cader  Idris  and  its  other  summits  are  inferior  in  height  to 
Snowdon.  The  north-eastern  portion  of  the  county  is  drained  by  the  river  Dee, 
which  flows  through  Bala  Lake.  The  western  portion  slopes  down  towards 
Cardigan  Bay,  and  the  rivers  traversing  it  form  broad  and  shallow  estuaries 
before  they  ^nter  the  sea. 

Bala,  at  the  foot  of  Bala  Lake,  or  Llyn  Tegid,  is  much  resorted  to  for  fishing 
and  shooting.  It  is  the  seat  of  colleges  of  the  Calvinistic  Methodists  and 
Independents.  Bala  Lake  has  been  selected  by  the  Liverpool  Corporation  to 
furnish  it  with  a  supply  of  wholesome  drinking  water.  Concen,  a  quiet  market 
town,  is  the  only  other  place  of  any  importance  in  the  beautiful  valley  of  the  Dee. 
Festiniog,  on  the  Upper  Dwyryd,  is  a  large  parish,  containing  meadows, 
woods,  and  fine  mountains,  these  latter  yielding  copper  as  well  as  slate.     The 

Fig.  32.~Harbotik  of  Refuge,  Holyhead 


quarries  employ  about  3,500  men,  and  their  produce  is  exported  through  Port- 
madoc.  Harlech,  some  distance  to  the  south  of  the  Dwyryd,  was  anciently  the 
capital  of  the  county,  but  is  now  an  unimportant  place,  and  only  shows  some 
anmiatiou  in  summer,  when  it  is  visited  by  tourists  and  sea-bathers. 

Barmouth,  or  Ahermaw,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Mawddach,  has  a  small  harbour. 
Proceedmg  up  the  estuary  of  the  Mawddach,  and  then  following  the  valley  of  the 
Wnion,  we  reach  Dolgelly,  the  present  capital  of  the  county,  situated  in  a  lovely 
mountam  district  commanded  by  the  crags  of  Cader  Idris.  Here  flannel  weaving 
IS  carried  on,  and  gold  and  copper  mines  are  worked  at  Clogan  and  St.  David's,  to 
the  north  of  it.  An  old  cottage  is  pointed  out  as  the  house  in  which  Owen  Glyndwir 
assembled  his  parliament  in  1404. 

To,oyn,  within  half  a  mile  of  the  coast,  has  a  mineral  spring,  and  is  acquiring 
Bome  importance  as  a  sea-bathing  town.     Aberdovey,  or  Afon  Dyfi,  at  the  mouth 


MONTGOMERYSHIRE. 


65 


of  the  Dovey,  has  a  small  harbour,  from  which  slate  is  shipped.  Higher  up  on 
the  same  river,  in  the  midst  of  the  mountains,  stands  Dinas  Mawddwy^  a  poor 
village,  surrounded  by  exquisite  scenery. 

Montgomeryshire  (Maldw  yn)  is  for  the  greater  part  drained  by  the  Severn 
and  its  tributaries,  only  a  small  portion  of  it  lying  within  the  basin  of  the 
Dovey,  towards  the  west.  Barren  mountains  occupy  nearly  the  whole  of  its 
area,  but  the  valleys  open  out  towards  the  English  border,  and  afford  space  for 
the  pursuit  of  agriculture.  The  manufacture  of  flannel  is  carried  on  extensively, 
and  there  are  lead  mines  and  quarries. 

Montgomeryshire  is  one  of  those  counties  in  which  Welsh  is  visibly  losing 
groimd.     In  the  valley  of  the  Severn,  up  to  within  a  mile  or  two  of  Newtown, 

Fig.  33. — On  tke  Dee,  near  Bala. 


Welsh  is  heard  only  in  the  mouths  of  immigrants  and  of  a  few  very  old  people.  At 
Montgomery  and  Welshpool  Welsh  has  been  extinct  among  the  natives  for  at  least 
fifty  years.  It  is  only  on  the  Upper  Severn,  beyond  Llanidloes,  on  the  Upper 
Vyrnwy,  and  in  the  western  part  of  the  county,  that  Welsh  remains  the  language 
of  the  majority.* 

Montgomery,  the  county  town,  is  a  quiet  place,  with  the  scanty  ruins  of  a 
castle,  but  prettily  situated.  WeMpool,  at  the  head  of  the  navigation  of  the 
Severn,  is  a  busy  market  town.  Its  chief  attraction  is  the  magnificent  park 
surrounding    Powis  Castle,  the  ancestral  seat   of  the  noble  family  of  Herbert. 


♦  About  44  per  cent,  of  the  population  speak  Welsh,  but  hardly  10  per  cent,  are  unable  to  converse 
in  English 


gg  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

Ne,dou,n,  higher  up  on  the  Severn,  is  a  modern  manufacturing  town,  the  prin- 
cipal seat  of  the  Welsh  flannel  trade.  LlanWoe,,  on  the  same  river,  is  a  pros- 
perous town,  the  inhabitants  of  which  are  occupied  in  the  manufacture  of 
flannel  and  in  the  neighbouring  lead  mines.  Lhn.fymn,  on  the  Cam,  a  tributary 
of  the  Severn,  ie  famous  for  its  ale,  and  a  proverb  says  that  "Old  ale  fills 
Llanfyllin  with  young  widows."  Llan/air  Caer  Einion  is  built  on  the  borders  of 
the  Vyrnwy.  The  castle  from  which  this  Llanfair,  or  St.  Mary's  Church,  derived 
its  name,  exists  no  longer. 

Machynlleth,  the  only  town  in  the  western  part  of   the  county,   known   as 
Cyffeiliog,  is  a  cheerful  place  in  the  midst  of  charming  scenery.     It  is  supposed 

Fig.  34.— Thb  Pakliamint  Hovse,  Dolgklly. 


J^m,^ 


WWy^: 


■^v 


to  occupy  the  site  of  the  Roman  Maglona.  The  inhabitants  manufacture  coarse 
cloth  ("  web"),  and  work  in  the  neighbouring  slate  quarries  and  lead  mines. 

Cardiganshire  stretches  from  the  Dovey  to  the  Teifi,  presenting  a  bold  face 
towards  the  sea,  and  rising  inland  to  mountains,  which  culminate  in  Plynlimmon. 
Agriculture,  sheep  farming,  and  lead  mining  are  the  principal  pursuits. 

Aherystwith^  at  the  mouth  of  the  Rheidol  and  near  that  of  the  Ystwith,  has 
grown  into  a  sort  of  Welsh  Brighton,  with  large  hotels  and  a  fine  beach 
remarkable  for  the  quantity  of  pebbles  found  on  it.  The  buildings  of  the 
University  College  of  Wales  adjoin  the  ruins  of  a  castle  founded  by  Gilbert  de 
Strongbow.  Lead  smelting  is  carried  on  in  the  neighbourhood.  Farther  south, 
on  the  coast,  are  Aberaeron,  a  favourite  watering-place;  Neiv  Quay,  with  a  small 
harbour  and  quarries  ;  and  Aherporth,  a  primitive  fishing  and  bathing  place. 
Cardigan,  near   the  mouth   of  the  Teifi,   whence  it   exports  the   produce   of  its 


PEMBROKESHIRE. 


67 


fisheries,  has  but  a  small  harbour,  which  larger  vessels  can  enter  only  with  the 
tide.  Travelling  up  the  lovely  valley  of  the  Teifi,  we  reach  Lamjyettr,  a  bright 
market  town  in  a  fine  situation,  and  the  seat  of  a  college  of  the  Church  of 
England.  North  of  it  lies  Tregaron,  to  the  north-west  of  which  are  the  ruins  of 
Strata  Florida,  an  abbey  founded  in  1184. 

Pembrokeshire  is  called  in  Welsh  Penfro — that  is,  **  Head  of  the  Peninsula  '* 
— a  very  appropriate  name  for  a  county  forming  the  south-western  extremity  of 
Wales.  The  surface  of  Pembrokeshire  is  for  the  most  part  undulating,  and  rises 
in  the  Mynydd  Preseley  to  a  height  of  1,758  feet.     The  coast  is  generally  bold, 


Fig.  35. — MiLFORD  Haven. 
Scale  1  :  330,000. 


=—6.4 

rfjHaverfopdwest 

m^-'  ■-.■^« 

5i 

40 

^ 

mmm 

51- 

40- 

==^~^^^^^^^^^^^^?^ 

iS^^^\IS!ujia 

==£^^^^!^*9^p^^ 

^S 

^l^^^^^g^iit  :^^^ys^^ 

i 

^"  ^Hi.'^^<'^:::2^^wmmwm 

^^^m 

^"^^^'"^^ 

^B 

5   20- 

5"                                              W.oFGr 

Depth  under  10  I'athoms.         10  to  20  Fathoms 


20  to  33  Fathoms. 
5  Miles. 


Over  33  Fathoms. 


and  Milford  Haven,  a  veritable  fiord  with  many  ramifications,  penetrates  far 
inland.  It  is  easily  accessible,  and  capable  of  afibrding  shelter  to  the  combined 
merchant  fleet  of  England,  but  owing  to  its  remote  situation  no  great  mercantile 
harbour  has  arisen  on  its  shores. 

Pembrokeshire  is  Welsh  in  its  northern,  English  in  its  southern  half,  and  the 
line  separating  the  two  races  is  well  marked,  extending  from  the  northern  part  of 
St.  Bride's  Bay  to  Narberth,  which  lies  to  the  east  of  it.  When  Arnulf  de 
Montgomery  conquered  the  country,  in  the  reign  of  Henry  I.,  he  no  doubt  brought 
English  settlers  with  him.      These  were  on  two  subsequent  occasions  reinforced  by 


68  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

Flemings,  who  established  themselves  in  Roose,  with  Haverfordwest  for  their  capital, 
and  in  the  peninsula  of  Castle  Martin,  to  the  west  of  Tenby.  In  these  early  days 
Southern  Pembrokeshire  was  known  as  -  Little  England,"  and  although  the  King's 
writ  did  not  then  run  in  Wales,  it  was  duly  acknowledged  in  this  -  Anglia-trans- 
Wallnia."  The  present  English  inhabitants  may  no  doubt  claim  descent  from 
these  early  settlers,  but  they  have  perpetually  been  receiving  reinforcements,  and 
the  dialect  they  now  speak  is  said  to  resemble  that  of  Somersetshire. 

Haverfordwest  is  picturesquely  seated  on  the  slope  of  a  hill  overlooking  the 
Cleddau,  which  flows  into  Milford  Haven,  and  is  navigable  for  vessels  of  a  burden  of 
100  tons.  It  is  the  capital  of  the  county.  The  keep  of  its  old  castle  has  been  con- 
verted into  a  prison.  Pembroke,  on  the  south  side  of  Milford  Haven,  is  interesting 
chiefly  on  account  of  its  Norman  castle,  the  birthplace  of  Henry  YII.  (1456),  now 
in  ruins.    Pembroke  Dockyard,  a  Government  ship-building  vard,  defended  by  for- 

Fig.  36. — MiLFOiin  Haven 


midable  military  works,  lies  2  miles  north-west  of  the  old  town.  A  steam  ferry 
connects  it  with  New  Milford,  where  docks  have  been  excavated  in  the  vain  hope 
of  this  place,  so  favourably  situated,  becoming  a  rival  of  Liverpool  in  the  trade 
with  America.  At  present  only  steamers  plying  to  Cork  and  Waterford  avail 
themselves  of  the  facilities  thus  provided.  The  town  of  Milford  lies  5  miles  below 
these  docks. 

St.  Davids,  the  ancient  Menapia,  in  the  north-west  corner  of  St.  Bride's  Bay, 
is  merely  a  village,  but  boasts  of  a  grand  old  cathedral,  built  in  1176.  Fishguard 
and  Newport  are  small  towns  on  the  north  coast,  whence  slates  are  shipped. 
Tenby,  at  the  other  extremity  of  the  county,  is  a  delightful  watering-place,  its 
neighbourhood  abounding  in  charming  walks  and  drives.  The  ruins  of  a 
Norman  castle  crown  the  summit  of  a  promontory.  Saundersfoot,  a  couple  of 
miles  to  the  north,  has  collieries  and  iron  works. 


CARMARTHENSHIRE— GLAMORGANSHIEE.  69 

Carmarthen  (Caerfyrddin)  is  for  the  most  part  drained  by  the  Towey  and 
Taf,  and  that  portion  of  the  county  which  lies  to  the  north,  along  the  left  bank 
of  the  Teifi,  is  of  small  extent.  The  coast  is  low,  and  in  places  marshy,  whilst  the 
interior  is  hilly,  or  even  mountainous,  the  hills  being  intersected  by  productive 
valleys  and  wooded  glens.  Carmarthen  Van  (2,596  feet),  a  summit  of  the  Black 
Mountains,  is  the  highest  point  in  the  county.  Coal  and  iron  are  found,  and 
there  are  iron  works,  iron-mills,  copper-mills,  tin  works,  and  other  manufacturing 
establishments.  ' 

Laugharne  (pronounced  Lame),  on  the  west  bank  of  the  Taf,  is  a  decayed  town, 
with  a  small  port  and  some  trade  in  butter  and  corn.  St.  Clears,  higher  up  on 
the  same  river,  has  partly  usurped  its  trade. 

Carmarthen,  the  county  town  and  reputed  birthplace  of  Merlin,  the  Welsh 

Fig.  37 — The  Worm's  Head  :  Peninsula  ok  Gower. 


magician,  is  seated  upon  the  Lower  Towey,  9  miles  above  its  mouth  in  Carmar- 
then Bay.  It  is  a  picturesque  town,  with  irregular  and  steep  streets.  Sir  Richard 
Steele,  the  essayist,  lies  buried  in  its  ancient  parish  church.  Tin  and  iron  works 
are  near  it.  Ahergwilli,  with  the  palace  of  the  Bishop  of  St.  David's  and  Merlin's 
Hill,  is  in  its  neighbourhood.  Higher  up  on  the  Towey  are  Llandilofaicr,  a  market 
town,  with  collieries  and  marble  quarries,  and  Llandovery. 

Llanelly,  on  Burry  Inlet,  is  the  principal  seaport  of  the  county.  It  depends  in 
a  large  measure  upon  the  Cambrian  Copper  "Works,  its  tin  works,  and  some 
collieries.  Pemhrey,  at  the  mouth  of  Burry  Inlet,  has  copper  smelting  works  and 
a  small  harbour.  Kidwelly,  to  the  north  of  it,  lies  on  a  silted -up  harbour,  and  is 
mainly  dependent  upon  its  tin-plate  works. 

Glamorganshire  (Morganwg)  is  the  most  southerly  county  in  Wales.  Its 
northern  part  is  hilly,  but  none  of  its  hills  attain  a  height  of  2,000  feet,  whilst  the 


70 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


south,  known  as  the  Yale  of  Glamorgan,  is  generally  level.  It  is  the  most 
fertile  portion  of  Wales,  and  heavy  crops  of  wheat  are  raised  on  a  reddish  clay 
soil.  The  coast  is  most  irregular  towards  the  west,  where  the  peninsula  of  Gower, 
between  Swansea  Bay  and  Burry  Inlet,  juts  out  into  the  Bristol  Channel.  Off  its 
south-western  point  lies  a  small  island,  terminating  in  the  forbidding  promontory 
known  as  the  Worm's  Head.  The  chief  rivers  are  the  Llwchwr  (Loughor),  sepa- 
rating the  county  from  Carmarthenshire,  the  Tawe,  the  Neath,  the  Taf,  and  the 
Rumney,  the  last  forming  the  eastern  boundary.  The  great  wealth  of  the  county 
in  coal  and  iron,  combined  with  its  running  streams  and  excellent  harbours,  has 


Fig.  38.— Swansea. 
Scale  1 :  200,000. 


WoP  Gr 


foreshore. 


iJepth  under  5  Fathoms. 


5  to  10  Fathoms. 
2  Miles. 


Over  10  Fathoms. 


caused  its  manufacturing  industry  and  commerce  to  flourish,  and  its  population  is 
more  dense  than  that  of  any  other  county  in  Wales. 

English  is  almost  universally  understood,  although  Welsh  continues  to  be  the 
language  of  the  majority.  There  is  only  one  tract  of  any  extent  within  which 
English  is  spoken  to  the  entire  exclusion  of  Welsh.  This  is  the  peninsula  of 
Gower,  in  which  Flemish  colonists  established  themselves  in  1103.  It  is  famous  for 
its  cromlechs.  Physically  the  inhabitants  of  this  peninsula  are  said  to  differ  from 
their  neighbours,  and  a  few  words  of  Flemish  survive  amongst  them,  although  they 
have  discontinued  the  use  of  their  mother  tongue  since  the  fifteenth  century.* 

Swansea^  at  the  mouth  of  the  Tawe,  is  an  unattractive  town,  which  owes  its 

*  Varenbergh,  "  Patria  Belgica,"  iii. 


GLAMOEGANSHIEE. 


71 


'prosperity  to  the  smelting  and  refining  of  copper.  As  early  as  the  twelfth 
century,  we  are  told  by  Borrow,  Swansea  was  known  for  its  castings,  but  it  is  only 
since  the  beginning  of  this  century  that  it  has  grown  into  an  important  seat  of 
industry.  The  miners  of  Cornwall  were  the  first  to  send  their  ores  to  Swansea  to 
be  smelted,  and  so  great  are  the  advantages  conferred  upon  the  town  by  its  wealth 


Fig.  39.— Cardiff. 
Scale  1  :  52.500. 


3-12- 


W.  oF  G  r 


iMUe. 


in  coal,  that  copper  ores  from  all  parts  of  the  world  now  find  their  way  to  its 
smelting  furnaces.  The  smoke  ascending  from  the  numerous  chimneys  of  the 
town  poisons  the  atmosphere  and  kills  the  vegetation  on  the  surrounding  hills. 
Swansea  has  excellent  docks,  and  its  foreign  trade,  more  especially  with  France,  is 
of  great  importance.     The  museum  belonging  to  the  Royal  Institution  of  South 


72  THE  BEITISii  ISLES. 

Wales  contains  a  valuable  natural-history  collection.     Landore,  a  suburb  of  Swan- 
sea, is  well  known  for  its  steel  works. 

Oystermoiith,  on  the  western  side  of  Swansea  Bay,  bas  grown  into  a  favourite 
watering-place.  The  Neath  enters  Swansea  Bay  to  the  east  of  Swansea.  Briton 
Ferry,  at  its  mouth,  has  iron  and  tin-plate  works,  but  is  surpassed  m  importance 
by  Neath,  a  few  miles  up  the  river,  where  copper  smelting  is  carried  on,  and 
whence  coal  is  exported  in  considerable  quantities.  Aherafon,  at  the  mouth  of  the 
A.von,  has  copper  works,  and  carries  on  a  large  trade.  The  small  port  of  Porth- 
cawl  depends  for  its  prosperity  upon  the  coal  mines  of  Civmdu,  in  the  interior  of  the 
county.  Still  proceeding  up  the  Bristol  Channel  to  its  narrowest  part,  where  the 
estuary  of  the  Severn  may  be  said  to  begin,  we  find  ourselves  opposite  the  port  of 
Cardiff,  one  of  the  most  important  in  Europe.  Though  commanded  by  an  old 
castle,  in  which  Robert,  the  eldest  son  of  the  Conqueror,  lingered  a  captive  for 
thirty  years,  and  which  has  been  restored  as  a  residence  of  the  Marquis  of  Bute, 
Cardiff  is  essentially  a  modern  town,  with  broad,  clean  streets.  The  exports  of 
coal  and  iron  from  the  Taff  valley  are  the  great  source  of  its  prosperity,  and  since 
the  opening  of  the  famous  Bute  Docks  its  growth  has  been  rapid.  Roath,  Canton, 
and  Penarth  are  suburbs  of  Cardiff,  and  Llandqf,  the  seat  of  a  bishopric  founded  in 
the  fifth  century,  lies  2  miles  to  the  north-west  of  it.  Its  cathedral  has  recently 
been  restored.  Cowhridge  and  Bridgend  are  the  principal  towns  in  the  Yale  of 
Glamorgan,  which  extends  from  Llandaff  to  Swansea  Bay. 

The  towns  in  the  basin  of  the  Taff  depend  upon  their  collieries  and  iron  works 
for  their  prosperity,  and  like  Cardiff,  their  principal  shipping  port,  they  suffered 
much  during  the  depression  of  trade.  Merthyr  Tydvil,  high  up  in  this 
valley,  and  close  to  the  borders  of  Brecknockshire,  is  the  chief  amongst  them, 
though  it  consists  of  an  agglomeration  of  factories  and  dwelling-houses  rather 
than  of  a  compactly  built  town.  Its  mines  yield  coal  and  excellent  iron  ore, 
and  as  lime,  which  plays  so  important  a  part  in  the  manufacture  of  iron,  is  found 
close  to  the  coal,  the  conditions  are  as  favourable  as  possible  for  the  development 
of  the  iron  and  steel  industry.  The  whole  of  this  district  is  dotted  over  with  iron 
and  steel  works,  railways  intersect  each  other  in  all  directions,  and  the  lurid  glare 
of  smoking  heaps  of  slag  lights  up  the  night.  The  iron  works  of  Doiclais,  a  suburb 
of  Merthyr  Tydvil,  give  occasionally  employment  to  20,000  men,  and  rank  with  the 
largest  works  of  the  kind  in  existence.  Cyfarthfa,  another  of  these  workmen's  cities, 
formerly  enjoyed  the  monopoly  of  casting  all  the  guns  required  by  the  British 
Government.     It  was  here  that  Trevethick  constructed  his  first  traction  engine. 

Aherdare  and  Mountain  Ash,  on  the  Cynon,  a  tributary  of  the  Taff ;  Neicbridge 
(Pontypridd),  at  the  mouth  of  the  Rhondda  valley  ;  and  other  towns  along  the  canal 
which  connects  Merthyr  Tydvil  with  Cardiff,  are  dependent  upon  their  collieries 
and  iron  works  for  existence.  They  possess  hardly  a  feature  to  mitigate  their 
rough  and  grimy  aspect,  and  it  is  a  relief  to  turn  from  them  to  the  fine  ruins 
of  the  feudal  stronghold  of  Caerphilly,  8  miles  to  the  north  of  Cardiff,  in  the 
valley  of  the  Rumney. 

Monmouthshire  extends   from  the  Rumney  to   the  Lower  Wye,  its  central 


MONMOUTHSHIEE-BRECKNOCKSHIRE. 


73 


Fig.  40. — Newport. 


portion  being  drained  by  the  Usk.      Along  the  coast  there  are  extensive  "  levels  " 

protected  by  embankments  against  the  high  tides  of  the  Severn ;  but  the  greater 

portion  of  the  county  is  hilly.     The  Sugar-loaf  Hill  (Pen-y-val),  to  the  north  of 

Abergavenny,  rises  to  a  height  of  1,954  feet. 

The  geographical  nomenclature  is  for  the  most  part  Welsh,  but  English  is  now  the 

predominant  tongue,  Welsh  being  spoken  only  in  the  coal  and  iron  regions  to  the 

west  of  the  Usk,  where  its  use  is  perpetuated  by  immigrants  from  adjoining  counties. 
The  towns  to  the  west  of  the  Usk,  in  the  valleys  of  the  Sirhowy,  Ebwy,  and 

Llwyd,  engage  in  coal  mining  and  the  manufacture  of  iron   and  steel,  the  chief 

amongst  them  being  Tredegar,  Abersychan, 

Blaenavon,  and  Pontypool.     Newport,  at  the 

mouth  of  the  Usk,  is  their  great  shipping 

port.      It  has  grown  from  a  small  village 

into  a  populous  town,  with  iron  works,  nail 

factories,  wire,  and  nut  and  bolt  works.     Its 

docks  give  access  to  the  largest  vessels,  and 

Caerleon,  the  Isca  Silurum  of  the  Romans, 

and   residence  of  King  Arthur,  which  lies 

3   miles  above,   on    the  right  bank  of  the 

Usk,  probably  at  no  time  equalled  it  in  im- 
portance.     Higher    up    on    the    Usk    are 

Raglan,  with  the  ruins  of  a  famous  strong- 
hold, and  Abergavenny,  a  manufacturing 
town,  producing  principally  boots  and  shoes. 
Monmouth  (Mynwy),  the  capital  of  the 
county,  is  seated  at  the  confluence  of  the 
Monnow  with  the  Wye,  in  the  midst  of 
wooded  hills.  Its  associations  are  altogether 
English.  In  its  castle,  now  a  ruin,  was 
born  Henry  Y.,  the  victor  of  Agincourt. 
Geoffrey  of  Monmouth,  whose  Latin  Chro- 
nicles Shakspere  made  use  of,  was  a  native 
of  the  town.  The  Wye,  between  Monmouth 
and  Chepstow,  is  renowned  for  its  scenery, 
presenting  an  alternation  of  meadow  lands, 
steep  cliffs,  and  woods  descending  to  the  water's  edge.  The  ruins  of  Tintern  Abbey 
lie  about  half-way  between  the  two.  Chepstow  (Aberwye),  near  the  mouth  of  the 
river,  is  a  port  of  some  importance.  Its  castle,  on  a  formidable  cliff  overhanging 
the  river,  was  captured  by  Cromwell,  and  is  now  a  picturesque  ruin. 

Brecknockshire  (Brycheiniog)  is  an  inland  county,  comprising  the  upper 
basin  of  the  Usk  as  well  as  the  western  slope  of  the  Upper  Wye.  The  Black 
Mountains,  which  in  the  Brecknock  Beacons  attain  a  height  of  2,910  feet,  rise 
boldly  to  the  south  of  the  Usk,  whilst  the  north  is  filled  with  the  wooded  range 
of  the  Mynydd  Epynt  and  other  lofty  hiUs,  The  arable  land  is  of  limited 
102— E 


Scale  1  :  143,000. 
1  Mile. 


74  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

extent,  but  sheep  farming  and  the  rearing  of  cattle  are  of  importance.  Coal  and 
iron  abound  in  the  south.  Welsh  is  still  the  language  of  the  majority,  but  is 
losing  its  hold  upon  the  inhabitants. 

Brecknock^  or  Brecon^  on  the  Usk,  centrally  situated,  is  the  county  town.  In 
the  neighbourhood  of  Llanelly,  near  the  Usk,  not  far  from  the  boundary  of 
Monmouthshire,  are  the  Clydach  iron  works.  Bryntnawr,  another  town  noted  for 
its  iron  works  and  collieries,  lies  to  the  south-west,  on  the  Upper  Ebwy,  whilst 
Ynyscedwin  and  Ystalyfera  are  situate  in  the  extreme  south-west,  on  the  Upper 
Tawe,  and  virtually  belong  to  the  vast  manufacturing  district  depending  upon 
Swansea. 

Hay  and  Biiilth,  the  latter  a  curious  old  place,  with  narrow,  tortuous  streets, 
are  the  only  remarkable  towns  on  the  Wye. 

Radnorshire  (Maesyfed)  is  an  inland  county,  covered  almost  wholly  with 
desolate  moorlands,  and  very  sparsely  peopled.  The  Wye,  which  washes  the 
county  on  the  west  and  south,  is  the  outflow  for  its  watershed,  whilst  the  Lugg 
and  x\rrow,  rising  in  Radnor  Forest  (2,166  feet),  flow  to  the  eastward  into  Here- 
fordshire. The  geographical  nomenclature  is  Welsh,  but  Welsh  is  now  only 
understood  by  a  few  old  people  at  Rhayader  and  some  other  remote  localities  on 
the  Upper  Wye. 

Presteigne,  the  county  town,  is  situate  in  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Lugg ;  Netv 
Radnor  lies  at  the  foot  of  Radnor  Forest ;  and  Knighton  occupies  the  heights  over- 
looking the  river  Teme.  Offa's  Dyke  passes  through  it.  Llandrindod,  in  the 
valley  of  the  Wye,  near  Builth,  enjoys  some  reputation  as  a  watering-place. 


CHAPTER  TIL 


THE  COJRNISH  PENINSULA. 

(Cornwall  and  Devonshire.) 

HE  peninsula  formed  almost  wholly  of  the  counties  of  Cornwall  and 
Devonshire  constitutes  a  distinct  geographical  province,  which 
resembles  "Wales  rather  than  any  other  part  of  England.  It  is  a 
country  of  rocks,  hills,  promontories,  and  heath-covered  ridges. 
Like  the  Cambrian  mountain  region,  its  rocks  belong  to  the  most 
ancient  formations,  and  a  well-marked  depression,  extending  southward  from 
the  valley  of  the  Severn,  separates  it  from  the  rest  of  England.  Cornwall  and 
Wales  also  resemble  each  other  as  respects  the  origin  of  their  inhabitants,  and 
a  like  geographical  position  has  resulted  in  a  certain  analogy  in  the  historical 
development  of  the  two  peoples.  When  we  speak  of  the  Welsh,  our  thoughts 
almost  involuntarily  turn  to  the  neighbouring  people  of  Cornwall. 

Cornwall,  by  its  geological  structure,  is  a  sister-land  of  French  Brittany,  from 
which  it  is  separated  by  the  wide  mouth  of  the  English  Channel.  The  land 
on  both  sides  of  that  arm  of  the  sea  is  composed  of  granite,  schists,  and  palaeozoic 
rocks ;  the  shores  are  indented  by  deep  gulfs  and  bays,  affording  facilities  for  the 
establishment  of  great  naval  stations ;  and  both  peninsulas  terminate  in  promon- 
tories known  as  Land's  End,  or  Finistere.  Climate,  rivers,  soil,  and  inhabitants  all 
resemble  each  other  on  these  two  shores.  Cornwall,  however,  enjoys  the  advantage 
of  being  far  richer  in  mineral  wealth  than  the  French  peninsula.  There  is  no  coal, 
as  in  Wales,  but  rich  lodes  of  copper,  zinc,  and  lead  have  attracted  navigators 
from  the  most  ancient  times,  and  have  proved  the  principal  source  of  prosperity  of 
the  county.* 

A  range  of  hills  of  Devonian  formation  rises  to  the  south  of  the  Bristol  Channel, 
and  constitutes,  as  it  were,  the  root  of  the  peninsula.  These  hiUs  are  separated  by 
valleys,  giving  birth  to  the  head-stream  of  the  Exe,  and  terminate  in  the  west,  in 
the  table-land  of  Exmoor,  some  of  the  summits  of  which  exceed  a  height  of  1,500 
feet.  On  the  north  this  table-land  is  intersected  by  picturesque  valleys,  and  termi- 
nates in  bold  cliffs.  From  its  summits  we  may  witness  the  continuous  onslaught 
*  Dufr^noy  et  Elie  de  Beaumont,  "  Voyage  metallurgique  en  Angleterre." 


76 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


of  the  sea  upon  the  rocks  of  Ilfracombe,  whilst  in  the  south  the  land  gradually  slopes 
down  towards  the  wide  semicircular  bay  bounded  by  Start  Point  and  the  Bill  of 
Portland.  Human  habitations  are  few  and  far  between  on  this  plateau,  being 
confined  to  hamlets  and  lonely  farms  hidden  away  in  the  hollows.  The  slopes 
of  the  hills  are  covered  with  heather  or  short  herbage,  whilst  their  summits 
are  occupied  by  sepulchral  mounds  or  ancient  entrenchments.  The  Quantock 
Hills,  to  the  east  of  Exmoor,  are  the  only  part  of  England  where  the  stag  still 
lives  in  a  wild  state. 

A  second  mountain  mass,  the  Dartmoor,  rises  to  the  west  of  the  river  Exe  into 
the  region  of  pasture,  culminating  in  the  Yeo  Tor  (2,077  feet),  and  High  Wilhays 

Pig.  41.— Land's  End  and  the  Longships  Lighthovse. 


(2,040  feet).  The  nucleus  of  this  mountain  group  consists  of  granite,  and  the 
rivers  which  rise  in  it  diverge  in  all  directions,  feeding  the  Teign  and  Exe  in 
the  east ;  the  Taw  and  Torridge  in  the  north ;  the  Tamar,  or  Tamer,  in  the  west ; 
the  Tavy,  Avon,  and  Dart  in  the  south.  The  coast-line  projects  far  to  the  south, 
where  the  spurs  of  Dartmoor  approach  it,  as  if  the  floods  of  the  ocean  had  been 
powerless  in  their  attacks  upon  the  rocks  which  envelop  this  nucleus  of  granite. 
Start  Point,  the  extreme  promontory,  is  thus  named  because  vessels  take  their 
departure  from  it  when  about  to  venture  upon  the  open  ocean.  Two  estuaries 
bound  the  uplands  which  culminate  in  Dartmoor,  viz.  that  of  the  Ex  in  the  east, 
and  that  of  the  Tamar,  which  debouches  upon  many-armed  Plymouth  Sound,  in 


THE  CORNISH  PENINSULA.  77 

the  west.  Dartmoor,  within  its  proper  limits,  covers  an  area  of  200  square 
miles,  and  its  population  is  as  sparse  as  that  of  Exmoor.  Many  of  its  valleys, 
where  villages  would  be  sheltered  from  the  cold  winds  which  sweep  the  heights, 
are  filled  with  peat  and  quaking  "  stables."  Piles  of  stone  and  the  sepulchral 
mounds  of  the  ancient  inhabitants  of  the  country  crown  the  summits  of  some  of  the 
tors,  those  enormous  masses  of  granite  which  form  the  most  striking  feature  of  the 
scenery.  In  former  times  most  of  the  slopes  were  covered  with  trees,  but  they 
have  long  ago  disappeared,  and  the  ancient  Dartmoor  Forest  has  become  the  home 
of  partridges  and  heath-cocks.  Hidden  away  in  one  of  its  wildest  recesses  lies  the 
small  village  of  Prince  Town  (thus  named  in  honour  of  the  Prince  of  Wales,  who 
owns  most  of  the  surrounding  land),  and  near  it  is  one  of  the  largest  convict 
prisons  in  England. 

The  uplands  of  Cornwall  are  far  inferior  to  Exmoor  and  Dartmoor  in  elevation. 
They,  too,  are  dreary  treeless  wastes,  intersected  by  boggy  valleys,  and  are 
composed  of  a  great  variety  of  rocks,  including  limestones  and  schists,  granite  and 
porphyry.  From  Hartland  Point,  which  bounds  Barnstaple  Bay  in  the  west,  a 
range  of  hills  and  small  plateaux  stretches  south  and  south-westward  to  the 
extremity  of  the  peninsula,  its  spurs  terminating  in  cliffs  or  chaotic  masses  of  rock 
along  the  sea-coast.  The  Cornish  heights  culminate  in  Brown  Willy,  1,864  feet. 
They  are  bounded  in  the  east  by  the  valley  of  the  Tamar,  and  deeply  penetrated  by 
the  winding  estuary  of  the  Fal,  which  almost  severs  the  bold  cliffs  forming  their 
western  extremity  from  the  body  of  the  peninsula.  Lizard  Point  (224  feet),  a 
bold  mass  of  variegated  rock,  surmounted  by  two  lighthouses  lit  by  electricity, 
is  the  southernmost  point  of  England.  Its  latitude  (49°  57')  is  nearly  the  same 
as  that  of  Dieppe,  Amiens,  and  Mayence.  A  small  group  of  hills  to  the  west 
of  the  St.  Ives  and  Mount's  Bays  terminates  in  the  headlands  of  Cornwall 
and  Land's  End.  The  Scilly  Islands,  which  lie  off  these,  are  now  the  only 
vestiges  of  an  extensive  tract  of  land.  Tradition  tells  us  that  anciently  the  districts 
of  the  Lionesse  and  Lelothsow,  with  forty  villages,  extended  from  Cori^vall  to 
these  islands.  An  old  family  bears  on  its  coat  of  arms  a  horse  escaping  from  the 
sea,  in  memory  of  an  ancestor  whom  the  fleetness  of  his  charger  saved  from  a 
premature  death  when  these  districts  were  swallowed  up  by  the  sea.* 

The  aspect  of  the  headlands  varies  with  the  nature  of  the  rocks  composing 
them,  and  the  strength  of  the  winds  and  waves  to  which  they  are  exposed. 
Lizard  Point,  a  mass  of  compact  serpentine,  is  being  gnawed  by  the  waves,  which, 
however,  are  unable  to  break  it  up.  Land's  End  is  a  mass  of  tabular  granite 
weathered  iilto  huge  blocks,  piled  one  upon  the  other  like  cyclopean  walls. 
Cape  Cornwall,  composed  of  slate,  is  being  split  up  into  laminae.  The  moist 
and  saliferous  air  proves  exceedingly  destructive,  and  on  many  hills  the  rocks 
have  been  broken  into  quadrangular  masses,  hardly  to  be  distinguished  from 
the  artificial  structures  raised  by  the  ancient  inhabitants  of  the  country.  The 
waves,  however,  are  the  principal  agents  of  destruction  along  the  coast.  Yast 
caverns,    locally    known   as   "Hugos,"    have    been    scooped   out   at   the   foot   of 

*  Carew,  "  Survey  of  Cornwall." 


78 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


the  cliffs,  and  into  these  the  waves  rush  with  great  noise.  Isolated  pinnacles, 
washed  by  the  ocean's  foam,  rise  beyond  the  line  of  cliffs,  whilst  sunken  rocks,  the 
remains  of  ancient  promontories,  still  break  the  force  of  the  waves,  above  which 
they  formerly  rose.  Old  chronicles  tell  us  of  hills  and  tracts  of  coast  which  have 
been  swaUowed  up  by  the  sea.  Mount  St.  Michael,  in  Mount's  Bay,  rose  formerly, 
like  its  namesake  off  the  coast  of  Normandy,  in  the  midst  of  a  wooded  plain,  which 

rig.  42.— The  "Akmed  Knights,"  near  Land's  End,  Coknwall. 


has  disappeared  beneath  the  waves.  The  church  which  crowns  its  summit  is 
referred  to  in  ancient  documents  as  *'  Hoar  Kirk  in  the  Wood,"  but  the  famous 
Mount  is  now  alternately  a  peninsula  and  an  island,  according  to  the  state  of  the 
tide.  The  wind,  more  especially  along  the  north  coast,  has  likewise  aided  in 
changing  the  form  of  the  littoral  region,  for  it  has  piled  up  dunes,  or  "  towans," 
which  travel  towards  the  interior  of  the  country  until  "  fixed  "  by  plantations,  or 
consolidated  into  sandstone  through  the  agency  of  the  oxide  of  iron  which  the 


THE  CORNISH  PENINSULA.  79 

sand  contains.*  Oscillations  of  the  land  appear  likewise  to  have  had  a  large  share 
in  the  changes  witnessed  along  the  coasts  of  Cornwall  and  Devonshire.  On  the 
beach  which  the  retiring  tide  uncovers  at  the  foot  of  the  Exmoor  cliffs,  along 
the  Bristol  Channel,  may  be  seen  the  remains  of  ancient  forests  which  can  have 
grown  only  on  dry  land.  The  submarine  forest  of  Babbacombe,  on  the  southern 
coast  of  Devonshire,  between  Teignmouth  and  Torquay,  indicates  a  subsidence  of  the 
land  to  the  extent  of  at  least  20  feet.  This  subsidence,  however,  was  evidently 
preceded  by  an  upheaval,  for  ancient  beaches  have  been  discovered  far  inland  on 
the  hillsides.  One  of  the  caverns  of  this  upheaved  coast  yielded  flint  implements, 
which  proves  that  man  was  an  inhabitant  of  the  country  at  a  remote  epoch. t 
Prehistoric  monuments  are  as  numerous  in  Cornwall  as  in  the  Celtic  countries  of 
Wales  and  Brittany.  Neither  cromlechs,  **  logans,*'  nor  rocking-stones,  sepulchral 
mounds,  nor  rings  of  unhewn  stones  are  wanting  to  give  completeness  to  this  open- 
air  archaeological  museum  of  Cornwall. 

Lundy  Island  (466  feet),  a  mass  of  granite  920  acres  in  extent,  off  Barnstaple 
Bay,  marks  the  former  limit  of  the  coast  in  that  direction,  whilst  the  low 
archipelago  of  the  Scilly  Islands  may  be  looked  upon  as  an  outlier  of  the  Cornish 
peninsula.  Only  five  out  of  the  twenty-four  islands  of  this  archipelago  exceed 
250  acres  in  area,  and  they  alone  are  inhabited.  +  Samson,  which  had  a  few 
inhabitants  in  1851,  has  since  been  abandoned,  not  because  its  inhabitants  wished 
it,  but  by  order  of  the  despotic  proprietor  of  these  islands.  The  inhabitants  of 
Samson,  as  well  as  the  poor  residing  on  the  other  islands,  were  transferred  by  him 
to  the  mainland,  and  his  tenants  were  ordered  to  keep  only  one  son  with  them,  to 
be  supported  by  the  land.  Those  amongst  them  who  had  numerous  families 
were  obliged  to  send  their  sons  to  sea  or  to  the  ship-yards.§  The  population 
decreases  from  decade  to  decade,  but  the  inhabitants  have  grown  considerabl)^  in 
wealth.  The  people  of  Scilly,  though  very  small  as  far  as  numbers  go,  are  never- 
theless an  interesting  subject  for  study,  for  amongst  them  the  much- vaunted  theory 
of  an  *'  intelligent  despotism  "  has  been  carried  out  with  method  and  to  perfection 
for  nearly  half  a  century.  || 

The  Scilly  Islands  can  boast  of  some  of  the  finest  market  gardens  in  England, 
and  they  are  largely  indebted  to  steam  navigation  for  their  prosperity,  for  by  its 
means  they  are  able  to  supply  the  London  markets  with  early  vegetables.  The 
warm  and  moisture-laden  atmosphere  secures  the  gardeners  of  the  Scilly  Islands, 
and  of  the  neighbouring  coast  of  the  Cornish  peninsula,  against  winter  frosts. 
But  though  the  climate  is  highly  favourable  to  the  growth  of  foliage,  it  does  not 
suit  fruit.  Even  plums  and  apricots  ripen  only  in  exceptionally  dry  seasons.  On 
an  average  there  are  only  six  days  of  real  calm  in  the  year.  The  wind  blows 
almost  without  interruption  from  one  point  of  the  compass  or  the  other,  bringing 

*  Alph.  Esquiros,  "  L'Angleterre  et  la  vie  Anglaise." 
t  Pengelly,  Reader,  Nov.  19,  1864. 

Area. 
X  St.  Mary's,  Tresco,  St.  Martin's,  St.  Agnes,  Boyer  ....         2,330  acres. 

Nineteen  uninhabited  islands -         •  289     ,, 

§  Population  (1851),  2,627,  (1861)  2,431,  (1871)  2,075. 

II  Froude,  "  Uses  of  a  Landed  Gentry  "  (Paper  read  at  the  Edinburgh  Philosophical  Institute). 


80 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


with  it  fogs,  drizzling  rain,  or  heavy  showers.  Storms  are  of  frequent  occurrence, 
and  the  number  of  shipwrecks  is  nowhere  larger.  The  currents  which  meet  at 
the  SciUy  Islands  often  carry  vessels  out  of  their  true  course,  and  during  fogs 
cause  them  to  run  upon  sunken  rocks.  It  was  here  that,  in  1707,  the  most  disastrous 
shipwreck  of  modern  times  occurred.  An  entire  fleet,  commanded  by  Sir  Cloudesley 
Shovel,  was  thrown  upon  the  rocks,  and  two  thousand  human  souls  passed  together 

Fig.  43.— The  Scilly  Islands. 
Scale  1  :  170,000. 


'DO' 


W.oPGt 


6'25 


6°  15 


ESS 

Foresliore. 


Depth  under  26  Fathoms 


to  54  Fathoms. 
.  2MUes. 


Over  54  Fathoms. 


into  eternity.  An  old  saying  will  have  it  that  out  of  every  ten  natives  of  the 
Scilly  Islands  nine  perish  in  the  sea ;  but  thanks  to  lighthouses,  lightships,  fog 
signals,  life-boats,  and  a  change  in  the  mode  of  life  of  the  inhabitants,  this, 
happily,  is  no  longer  true. 

The  Cornish  peninsula  is  quite  as  much  a  land  of  mist  and  rain  as  are  the 
Scilly  Islands.  The  annual  rainfall  is  nowhere  less  than  30  inches  ;  in  most 
localities  it  exceeds  3  feet,  and  on  the  western  slopes  of  Dartmoor  it  rises  to 


THE  CORNISH  PENINSULA.  81 

80  inclies.  At  Tavistock  it  rains  almost  incessantly,  showers  accompanyino-  the 
wind  from  whatever  quarter  it  blows. 

Many  geographers  have  identified  the  Scilly  Islands  with  the  Cassiterides  of 
the  ancients,  simply  because  of  their  vicinity  to  the  Cornish  mines.  But  these 
granitic  islands  in  reality  contain  only  feeble  traces  of  metal,  while  the  rocks  of 
the  neighbouring  mainland  abound  in  underground  treasures,  which  have  certainly 
been  explored  from  a  period  anterior  to  Caesar's  expedition.  Old  mines  dating 
back  to  that  time  can  still  be  traced,  and  the  detached,  almost  insular,  rock  masses 
of  Cornwall  are  undoubtedly  the  CEstrymnides  or  Cassiterides  visited  by  the 
traders  of  Phoenicia  and  Carthage.  During  the  Roman  epoch  the  tin  of  Cornwall 
was  sent  across  Gaul  to  Marseilles. 

The  lodes  of  Cornwall  are  principally  of  copper  and  tin,  sometimes  sepa- 
rately, sometimes  in  combination.  The  richest  lodes  of  tin  have  been  discovered 
in  the  environs  of  Penzance,  near  the  extretnity  of  the  peninsula,  whilst  the  most 
productive  copper  mines  are  some  distance  inland,  more  especially  around  Redruth. 
There  are  a  few  mines  which,  after  having  ceased  to  yield  one  metal,  are 
worked  for  the  sake  of  the  other.  In  some  instances  the  ores  are  exceedingly  rich, 
and  near  the  coast  may  be  seen  rocks  dyed  green  by  an  efflorescence  of  copper  ;  * 
but  as  a  rule  the  Cornish  ores  are  very  poor,  containing  scarcely  2  per  cent,  of 
tin,  or  from  3  to  4  per  cent,  of  copper.  Their  value  depended  altogether  upon 
the  scarcity  of  the  metal  they  yielded,  and  since  the  discovery  of  rich  ores  in 
the  United  States,  Bolivia,  Australia,  and  the  Sunda  Islands,  it  has  decreased 
very  much.  In  their  search  after  the  precious  ores  the  valiant  miners  of  Corn- 
wall have  sunk  pits  and  excavated  galleries  which  rank  amongst  the  curiosities 
of  England.  Powerful  pumping-engines  have  been  brought  into  requisition  to 
empty  the  mines  of  the  water  which  invades  them  through  fissures  in  the  rocks. 
But  in  the  case  of  mines  many  hundred  fathoms  in  depth  artificial  means  for 
raising  the  water  do  not  suffice,  and  an  adit  conveys  it  directly  to  the  sea. 
The  underground  workings  in  the  mining  districts  of  Gwennap  and  Redruth 
reach  to  a  depth  of  1,750  feet  below  the  surface,  the  galleries  extend  60 
miles,  the  adit  is  7  miles  long,  and  sixty  pumping-engines  daily  remove  100,000 
tons  of  water,  being  at  the  rate  of  more  than  a  ton  every  second.  The  timber 
buried  in  the  mines  of  Cornwall  is  supposed  to  be  equivalent  to  a  pine  forest  a 
hundred  years  old,  and  covering  140  square  miles. 

Botallack  promontory,  near  Cape  Cornwall,  one  of  the  most  picturesque  rocks 
on  the  coast,  is  more  especially  curious  on  account  of  the  copper  mine  which  is 
hidden  in  its  bowels.  Almost  severed  from  the  mainland  by  a  wide  fissure,  that 
enormous  block  of  rock,  200  feet  in  height,  is  reached  by  narrow  bridges 
constructed  at  a  giddy  height.  Spiral  railways  wind  round  its  flanks,  and  its 
pinnacles  terminate  in  smoking  chimneys.  The  workings  are  continued  for  1,200 
feet  under  the  bed  of  the  Atlantic,  and  the  miners  can  feebly  hear  the  noise  made 
by  the  pebbles  rolling  up  and  down  the  beach.  In  the  neighbouring  mine  of 
Wheal  Cock  the  lode  has  been  followed  to  the  very  bed  of  the  sea,  and  the  hole 
*  Carus,  "  England  and  Scotland  in  1844." 


82 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


plugged  up,  to  prevent  its  irruption.  The  noise  of  rolling  pebbles  and  of  the  surf 
becomes  terrific  when  we  penetrate  this  mine,  and  on  a  tempestuous  day  the  uproar 
is  sufficient  to  cause  even  the  hardiest  miner  to  shudder.  Elsewhere  the  old 
miners  had  the  imprudence  to  follow  a  lode  within  so  short  a  distance  of  the  bed 
of  the  sea,  that  the  latter  broke  through  the  roof  of  the  mine  and  flooded  a  portion 
of  its  galleries.  The  hole,  however,  was  fortunately  stopped  up  by  means  of  a 
plank  platform  covered  with  turf  and  weighted  with  stones.  Another  copper  mme 
to  the  south  of  Penzance  is  often  cited  as  an  instance  of  the  enterprise  of  the 
Cornish  miners.    It  was  commenced  towards  the  close  of  the  last  century  by  a  work- 

■pig.  44.— The  Botallack  Mine. 


ing  miner,  on  a  part  of  the  beach  which  was  covered  twice  daily  by  the  advancing 
tide.  Under  these  circumstances  it  was  only  possible  to  work  for  a  few  hours  of  the 
day.  But  when  the  mine  had  been  enclosed  by  a  wooden  fence  and  joined  to  the 
land  by  a  plank  bridge,  it  became  possible  to  work  it  continuously,  and  for  a 
number  of  years  the  **  Wherry  "  yielded  considerable  quantities  of  copper.  One 
day,  however,  during  a  storm,  a  vessel  anchored  in  the  neighbourhood,  dragged  her 
anchor,  and  was  helplessly  driven  upon  the  wooden  enclosure.  The  sea  then  once 
more  invaded  the  mine,  which  has  not  since  been  worked.* 


*  Dufrenoy  et  Elie  de  Beaumont,  "  Voyage  metallurgique  en  Angleterre." 


THE  CORNISH  PENINSULA.  S8 

But  though  the  miners  of  Cornwall  be  ever  so  persevering,  and  take  advan- 
tage of  every  improvement  in  machinery,  the  cost  of  coal  and  timber  will  not 
enable  them  to  compete  with  other  mining  countries  whose  ores  are  richer.  The 
Stannary  Parliament,  which  used  to  discuss  the  business  connected  with  the  mines, 
meets  no  longer.  Its  last  meetings  took  place  in  Devonshire  in  1749,  in  Cornwall 
in  1752.  Many  of  the  miners  have  sought  new  homes  beyond  the  Atlantic, 
and  in  proportion  as  the  wealth  of  the  mines  diminishes,  the  country  popula- 
tion decreases  in  numbers,  and  the  towns  grow  larger.  Quarries  and  china-clay 
diggings,  though  of  importance,  are  not  sufficiently  so  to  compensate  for  the  mines 
that  had  to  be  abandoned.*  There  remain,  however,  many  sources  of  wealth, 
including  pilchard  and  mackerel  fisheries ;  market  gardens,  from  which  London 
draws  a  large  supply  of  early  vegetables  ;  and  productive  fields,  fertilised  by  the 
calcareous  sand  which  is  spread  over  them.  The  rocks  of  Cornwall  are  poor  in 
carbonate  of  lime,  resembling  in  this  respect  the  rocks  of  Brittany,  but  there  is  an 
abundance  of  marine  organisms,  by  which  the  lime  contained  in  the  water  of  the 
ocean  is  secreted,  and  the  sand  along  the  shore  converted  into  a  valuable  fertiliser. 
For  centuries  this  sand  has  been  utilised  to  increase  the  productiveness  of  the  soil. 
It  is  more  especially  made  use  of  in  the  vicinity  of  the  little  bay  of  Padstow, 
where  about  100,000  tons  of  it  are  annually  spread  over  the  fields,  this  being  about 
one-fifth  of  the  total  quantity  applied  in  this  manner  throughout  Cornwall  and 
Devonshire.! 

The  inhabitants  of  the  Cornish  peninsula  offered  a  long-continued  resistance  to 
the  Saxon  invaders,  and  in  many  localities  they  still  present  peculiar  features. 
Black  hair,  sallow  complexions,  short  and  broad  skulls,  are  met  with  more 
frequently  than  in  other  parts  of  England.  Many  of  the  women  on  the  south 
coast,  between  Falmouth  and  Lizard  Point,  are  of  a  southern  type,  which  it  has 
been  sought  to  trace  to  an  immigration  from  Spain,  and  indeed  Tacitus  writes  of 
Iberians  who  settled  in  the  country.  A  few  vestiges  of  a  division  into  hostile  clans 
survive  to  the  present  day.  The  old  language,  however,  a  sister  tongue  of  that 
of  Wales,  lives  now  only  in  the  geographical  nomenclature.  For  two  centuries  it 
had  ceased  to  be  commonly  spoken,  and  the  last  woman  able  to  express  herself  in 
the  original  language  of  the  country  died  in  1778  at  Mousehole,  near  Penzance. 
Enthusiastic  philologists  have  raised  a  stone  to  her  memory.  A  few  words 
of  Cornish  have  been  preserved  in  the  l^cal  dialect.  Cornish  literature,  which  has 
been  especially  studied  by  Mr.  Whitley  Stokes,  is,  he  says,  limited  to  a  glossary  of 
the  twelfth  century,  and  a  number  of  **  mysteries  "  of  later  date,  for  the  most  part 
adapted  or  translated  from  the  contemporaneous  literature  current  during  the 
Middle  Ages.  A  society  has  been  formed  in  Cornwall  for  the  purpose  of  publish- 
ing the  ancient  manuscripts.  The  numerous  popular  legends,  which  still  form 
the  stock  of  many  a  simple  story-teller  in  the  remote  villages  of  Cornwall,  have 
been  collected  and  published  in  various  English  works. 

*  In  1844  the  mines  yielded  152,970  tons  of  copper  ore;  at  present  they  yield  scarcely  50,000  tons. 
Of  china  clay,  or  kaolin,  about  150,000  tons  are  annually  exported, 
f  Delesse,  "Lithologie  du  fond  des  mers." 


84 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


Topography. 

Cornwall,  tlie  extreme  south-western  county  of  England,  terminates  in  the 
rocky  promontories  of  Land's  End  and  Lizard  Point.  The  greater  portion  of  its 
area  is  occupied  by  wild  and  barren  moorlands,  surmounted  by  bosses  of  granite 

Fig.  45. — Penzance. 

Scale  1  :  505,000. 


Foreshore.        Depth  under  5  Fathoms     5  to  10  Fathoms.        10  to  20  Fathoms.  Over  20  Fathoms. 
1  Mile. 


and  intersected  by  valleys  with  boggy  bottoms.     Mining,  quarrying,  fishing,  and 
the  cultivation  of  early  vegetables  constitute  the  principal  sources  of  wealth. 

Penzance  is  admirably  seated  upon  the  shore  of  a  fine  semicircular  bay,  bounded 
on  the  east  by  the  bold  serpentine  rocks  of  Lizard  Point,  and  on  the  west  by  the 
heights  which  extend  thence  to  the  Land's  End.    It  is  the  south- westernmost  town 


CORNWALL.  3g 

in  England,  and  is  much  frequented  by  visitors,  who  delight  in  its  equable  climate 
and  luxuriant  vegetation,  and  to  whom  bold  cliffs  of  granite  or  serpentine, 
quarries  and  mines,  and  magnificent  cromlechs,  stone  circles,  logans,  &c.  (see 
page  30),  present  objects  of  attraction.  Penzance  is  the  centre  of  an  important 
mining,  fishing,  and  agricultural  district.  Within  a  radius  of  7  or  8  miles  of 
it  are  situated  some  of  the  most  celebrated  "  setts  "  in  the  county  of  Cornwall 
including  Botallack  and  its  neighbour  Wheal  Owles,  which  hardly  yields  to  it  in 
reputation.  The  harbour  is  formed  by  a  breakwater,  and  defended  by  batteries. 
The  town  has  smelting-houses,  and  works  where  serpentine  is  fashioned  into  cups 
and  vases.  It  exports  early  vegetables  and  fish.  Penzance  was  the  birthplace  of 
Sir  Humphry  Davy,  to  whom  a  monument  has  been  erected,  and  is  justly  proud 
of  the  scientific  collections  accumulated  by  its  geological,  natural  history,  and 
antiquarian  societies.  Porthcurno,  near  Penzance,  and  other  creeks  in  its  vicinity, 
are  the  points  of  departure  of  three  submarine  cables,  which  connect  England  with 
the  Spanish  ports  of  Santander  and  Vigo,  and  the  Portuguese  village  of  Carcavellos, 
near  Lisbon,  whence  the  cable  is  carried  on  to  Gibraltar  and  the  Mediterranean. 
In  addition  to  these  a  submarine  cable  connects  Penzance  with  a  lightship  50  miles 
to  the  south-west,  which  hails  all  passing  ships  and  places  them  in  communica- 
tion with  their  owners  in  London.  Madron  and  Ludgvan  are  ancient  market 
towns,  within  a  couple  of  miles  of  Penzance,  but  are  exceeded  in  interest  by  the 
pretty  village  of  Marazion,  opposite  the  pyramidal  St.  Michael's  Mount,  with  which 
it  is  connected  by  an  ancient  causeway,  flooded  eight  hours  out  of  every  twelve. 
The  Mount  rises  to  a  height  of  95  feet,  and  is  crowned  by  an  ancient  castle,  partly 
in  ruins,  commanding  a  magnificent  prospect. 

Helston,  on  the  Looe,  which  enters  the  sea  9  miles  to  the  north-east  of  Lizard 
Point,  depends  upon  mines  and  agriculture  for  such  prosperity  as  it  enjoys. 
E/Ounding  the  promontory  just  named,  and  its  quarries  of  serpentine,  we  reach  the 
estuary  of  the  Fal,  and  with  it  the  important  town  of  Falmouth,  beautifully  seated 
on  the  shore  of  a  magnificent  harbour,  bounded  in  the  south  by  the  conical 
promontory  surmounted  by  Pendennis  Castle,  and  protected  by  a  breakwater. 
The  harbour  of  Falmouth  is  one  of  the  finest  in  England,  capable  of  sheltering  an 
entire  fleet.  The  town  itself  is  mean,  but  its  environs  abound  in  picturesque 
scenery.  Penryn,  on  an  inlet  of  Falmouth  Harbour,  is  known  for  its  granite 
quarries.  St.  Mawes,  opposite  Falmouth,  boasts  an  ancient  castle  erected  in  the 
time  of  Henry  VIII.  Proceeding  up  the  beautiful  haven  at  the  entrance  of  which 
lie  Falmouth  and  St.  Mawes,  and  which  is  known  as  Carrick  Eoads,  we  reach 
Truro,  the  finest  town  in  Cornwall,  and  recently  created  an  episcopal  see.  Truro 
has  smelting-houses  and  paper-mills,  and  exports  the  ores  obtained  from  the 
neighbouring  mines.  Like  Penzance,  it  can  boast  of  its  museum  and  scientific 
institutions.  It  was  the  birthplace  of  Richard  and  John  Lander,  the  African 
travellers.     A  cathedral  of  noble  proportions  is  being  raised. 

Rounding  Dodman  Head,  we  reach  Mevagisseij,  one  of  the  principal  seats  of  the 
pilchard  fishery,  and  farther  north  the  small  town  of  Charlestown,  which  is  the  port 
of  St.  Austell,  known  for   its   china-clay  diggings  and  potteries.      Par,  on  the 


86 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


northern  side  of  St.  Austell  Bay,  has  a  small  harbour  defended  by  a  breakwater, 
and  exports  china  clay  and  iron  ore  from  the  neighbouring  mines  of  St.  Blazey. 

Foweyy  at  the  mouth  of  the  estuary  of  the  same  name,  has  an  excellent  harbour, 
defended  by  forts  and  batteries,  and  much  frequented.  Three  hundred  years  ago 
Fowey  was  the  most  important  maritime  city  in  the  south-west  of  England.  The 
site  of  Falmouth  was  at  that  time  occupied  by  a  solitary  house,  whilst  Fowey 

Fig.  46. — Falmouth  and  Tkuro. 
Scale  1  :  176,000. 


Depth  under  10  Fathoms 


Depth  over  10  Fathoms. 
2  Miles. 


furnished  Edward  III.  with  forty-seven  vessels  for  the  siege  of  Calais.  It  was  a 
noted  place  for  pirates,  and  its  mariners  occasionally  even  fought  vessels  from  other 
English  ports,  including  those  of  Rye  and  Winchelsea.  The  town  was  burnt  by 
the  French  in  1457.  Lostwithiel  is  higher  up  on  the  Fowey,  which  yields  excellent 
trout  and  smelts. 

East  and   West  Looe  are  two  old-fashioned  fishing  villages  at  the  mouth  of  the 


DEVONSHIRE. 


87 


river  Looe,  which  affords  access  to  the  old  mining  town  of  Liskeard.  Granite 
and  ores  are  the  principal  articles  of  export. 

The  north-western  coast  of  Cornwall  is  far  poorer  in  good  harbours  than  the 
south-east  coast.  The  most  important  is  St.  Ives,  the  principal  seat  of  the 
pilchard  fishery.  It  is  a  quaint  old  town  at  the  entrance  to  a  fine  bay,  on  which  is 
also  situated  the  small  port  of  Hayle.  Both  export  the  produce  of  the  neighbour- 
ing mining  district,  the  centres  of  which  are  Redruth,  Camborne,  and  Phillack. 

Neiv  Quay,  farther  north,  exports  a  little  iron  ore.  Padstow,  at  the  mouth  of 
the  estuary  of  the  Camel,  has  an  indifferent  harbour,  but  is  of  some  importance  on 
account  of  its  fisheries  and  coasting  trade.  It  is  a  very  ancient,  but  by  no  means 
an  attractive  place.  Following  the  Camel  upwards,  we  reach  Bodmin,  the  county 
town,  but  not  otherwise  remarkable,  and  Camelford,  near  the  head  of  that  river. 
In  its  neighbourhood  are  the  slate  quarries  of  Delahole.  Once  more  resuming  our 
voyage  along  the  cliff-bound  coast,  we  pass  the  castle  of  Tintagel  on  its  lofty  rock, 
and  reach  Bude  Haven,  at  the  mouth  of  a  canal,  by  which  tons  of  sand  containing 
carbonate  of  lime  are  transported  inland. 

The  only  place  of  importance  in  the  interior  of  the  county  not  yet  noticed  is 
Launceston,  with  a  fine  Gothic  church  and  a  ruined  castle,  on  the  Attery,  a 
tributary  of  the  Tamar,  which  separates  Cornwall  from  Devonshire. 

Devonshire  is  noted  throughout  England  for  its  picturesque  scenery,  its  rich 
pasture-lands,  orchards,  and  copper  mines.  The  north  of  the  county  is  occupied  by 
the  treeless  moorlands  of  Exmoor,  the  centre  by  the  equally  sterile  Dartmoor 
Forest ;  in  the  east  the  Black  Downs  extend  into  the  county  from  Dorsetshire ;  but 
the  south  is  rich  in  orchards,  and  hence  is  known  as  the  "  Garden  of  Devonshire.' ' 

Plymouth,  with  its  sister  towns  of  Devonport  and  Stonehouse,  has  grown  into  the 
greatest  centre  of  population  on  the  south-west  coast  of  England.  No  other  town  has 
been  so  frequently  mentioned  in  connection  with  expeditions  of  war  and  discovery. 
It  was  from  Plymouth  that  Sir  Francis  Drake  started  in  1577,  and  Cook  in  1772. 
Although  a  town  of  war,  girdled  by  fortifications,  with  crenellated  walls  occupying 
every  point  of  vantage,  Plymouth  is  nevertheless  a  beautiful  town.  From  the 
surrounding  heights  and  from  the  walks  which  line  the  quays  we  look  in  all 
directions  upon  bays  and  inlets  of  the  sea  studded  with  vessels.  Here  steamers 
glide  STNdftly  from  shore  to  shore ;  there  sailing  vessels  are  anchored  in  the 
roadstead  ;  farther  away  we  look  upon  men-of-war  and  huge  hulks  towering 
above  the  water;  whilst  on  the  open  sea,  which  glistens  beyond  the  break- 
water, may  be  seen  passing  vessels  with  swollen  sails.  Kight  opposite  to  the  town 
rise  the  heights  of  Mount  Edgcumbe,  clad  with  fine  trees,  divided  by  broad 
avenues  into  picturesque  masses.  When  the  sun  lights  up  the  landscape  we 
might  almost  fancy  ourselves  transported  to  some  Italian  city  on  the  Mediter- 
ranean seaboard,  the  delusion  being  heightened  by  the  clustering  pines.  The 
magnificent  roadstead  of  Plymouth,  known  as  the  "Sound,"  covers  1,800  acres, 
and  receives  the  tribute  of  the  rivers  Plym  and  Tamar,  the  estuary  of  the 
first  forming  the  harbour  of  Catwater  on  the  east,  and  that  of  the  latter  the 
Hamoaze  on  the  west.     The  harbour  was  long  exposed  to  the  heavy  sea  which 


Qg  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

rolled  into  the  Sound  with  the  southerly  gales,  often  causing  great  damage.  To 
remedy  this  defect  a  breakwater,  5,100  feet  in  length,  has  been  constructed 
across  its  middle.  This  stupendous  work  was  commenced  in  1812  by  Rennie, 
and  completed  in  1846  at  a  cost  of  nearly  £2,000,000  sterling.  About  two 
million  and  a  half  tons  of  blocks  of  coarse  marble  have  been  employed  m  its 
construction.     It  is  continually  requiring  repairs,   for  during  severe   gales   the 


Fig.  47.— Plymouth. 

Scale  1  :  268,000, 


Depth  under  W  to  20 

10  Fathoms.         Fathoms. 


20  to; 
Fathoms. 


Miles. 


blocks  composing  it,  notwithstanding  their  weighing  between  60  and  80  tons,  are 
often  forced  from  their  positions,  whilst  the  destructive  work  of  the  pholades,  or 
pittocks,  is  going  on  at  all  times,  converting  the  solid  rock  into  pumice-like  masses. 
More  than  once  this  barrier  has  been  broken  through  by  the  sea,  and  it  is  on  record 
that  a  helpless  vessel  was  washed  over  the  breakwater  by  the  infuriated  waves,  and 
landed  in  the  inner  Sound.*     Experts  assert  that   the  height  of  the  breakwater 

*  Carus,  "  England  and  Scotland  in  1844." 


DEVONSHIRE.  89 

above  the  level  of  the  sea  is  insufficient,  in  consequence  of  which  the  waves 
wash  over  it  during  gales,  transmitting  their  undulatory  movement  as  far  as  the 
inner  harbour.* 

Plymouth,  in  addition  to  its  breakwater,  can  boast  of  other  remarkable 
engineering  works,  testifying  to  the  spirit  of  enterprise  possessed  by  Englishmen. 
The  Royal  William  victualling-yards  in  the  modern  town  of  Stonehouse  cover  an 
area  of  14  acres  at  the  extremity  of  the  peninsula  which  separates  the  Sound  from 
the  harbour  of  Hamoaze,  Devonport,  which  is  still  confined  within  a  bastioned 
wall,  possesses  one  of  the  great  dockyards  of  the  kingdom,  whilst  far  out  at  sea  the 
proximity  of  Plymouth  is  revealed  by  a  lofty  lighthouse,  boldly  raised  upon  a  rock 
in  mid-channel.  Shipwrecks  were  formerly  frequent  on  the  group  of  the  Eddy- 
stone  rocks,  one  of  which  is  occupied  by  the  lighthouse.  The  first  structure 
was  erected  in  1696.  It  was  of  wood,  and  a  storm  in  1703  completely  washed  it 
and  its  architect  away.  Another  lighthouse  was  built,  1706 — 1709,  also  of  wood, 
but  was  burned  in  1755.  The  third  structure  was  constructed  by  Smeaton,  1757 — 59. 
It  is  noted  for  its  strength  and  the  engineering  skill  it  displays,  and  rises  to  a 
height  of  85  feet,  its  light  being  visible  at  a  distance  of  13  miles.  This  structure 
still  stands,  but  it,  also,  is  doomed  to  disappear,  for  the  rock  it  occupies  is  slowly, 
but  surely,  being  undermined  by  the  waves.  The  new  lighthouse,  now  in  course  of 
construction,  will  rise  to  the  stupendous  height  of  130  feet,  and  its  light  will  thus  be 
placed  beyond  the  reach  of  the  waves. 

Plymouth,  with  its  sister  cities,  depends  for  its  prosperity  in  a  large  measure  upon 
the  Government  establishment  of  which  it  is  the  seat.  Its  coasting  trade  is  exten- 
sive, but  not  so  its  commerce  with  foreign  countries.  Ship-building  and  the  refining 
of  sugar  are  the  principal  industries.  Amongst  the  public  buildings  the  most 
remarkable  are  the  new  Guildhall,  the  Athenaeum,  with  a  valuable  museum,  and 
the  public  library.  Flympton,  a  small  market  town  to  the  east  of  Plymouth,  was 
the  birthplace  of  Sir  Joshua  Reynolds. 

Proceeding  up  the  Tamar,  we  pass  beneath  the  wonderful  Albert  Suspension 
Bridge,  which  spans  the  river  at  a  height  of  260  feet,  and  has  a  length  of  2,240 
feet.  It  connects  the  Devonshire  side  of  the  river  with  Saltash,  a  small  town  in 
Cornwall,  noted  for  its  acres  of  vineries,  in  which  tons  of  grapes  are  grown 
every  year.  Higher  up  on  the  Tamar  we  reach  Morwelham  Quay,  the  port  of  the 
mining  town  of  Tavistock,  with  which  it  is  connected  by  a  canal,  running  for  a 
considerable  distance  through  a  tunnel.  Tavistock,  on  the  Tavy,  and  at  the 
western  foot  of  Dartmoor,  has  copper  and  lead  mines.  About  7  miles  to  the  east 
of  it  lies  the  village  of  Prince  Toicn,  with  a  convict  establishment. 

Salcombe  River,  the  sinuous  estuary  of  the  Avon,  penetrates  far  into  the 
southernmost  portion  of  Devonshire.  Salcombe  Regis  occupies  a  magnificent 
position  near  its  mouth.  Its  equable  temperature  has  earned  for  it  the  epithet  of 
the  "  English  Montpelier."     Here  oranges  and  lemons  ripen  in  the  open  air. 

Rounding  Start  Point,  we  reach  the  estuary  of  the  river  Dart,  the  entrance  to 
which  is  commanded  by  the  ancient  town    of  Dartmouth.      Its  houses  rise  tier 

*  Cialdi,  "On  Wave  Action."     Revue  maritime  et  coloniale,  January,  1876. 
103— E 


90 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


above  tier  on  the  hillsides.  Dartmouth  has  a  convenient  harbour.  It  was  the 
birthplace  of  Newcomen,  the  improver  of  the  steam-engine.  Higher  up  on  the 
Dart  rises  Totnes,  with  the  ruins  of  an  ancient  castle,  and  still  farther  inland  is 
Ashhurton,  a  mining  town,  almost  in  the  centre  of  the  cider  district  of  South 
Hams. 

Several  towns  of  note  are  seated  upon  the  shore  of  Tor  Bay.     Brixham,  on  its 
south  side,  is  the  principal  fishing  town  of  Devonshire,  about  two  hundred  trawlers 

Fig.  48.— Smeaton's  Eddystone  Lighthouse. 


belonging  to  its  port.  Its  harbour  is  protected  by  a  breakwater.  It  was  here 
that  William  of  Orange  landed  in  1688.  Paignton,  in  the  centre  of  the  bay,  has 
a  small  harbour.  Torquay,  on  the  northern  side  of  the  bay,  rises  in  terraces 
above  the  magnificent  quay,  whilst  the  surrounding  heights  are  studded  with 
villas.  It  is  the  most  important  seaside  resort  on  the  south  coast  of  England 
to  the  west  of  Brighton,  its  equable  climate  and  the  shelter  afforded  by  the 
surrounding  heights  also  attracting  a  large  number  of  persons  suffering  from 
consumption.     The  influx  of  bathers  and  invalids  has  caused  the  population  of 


DEVONSHIRE. 


91 


the  town  to  increase  rapidly,  and  has  given  rise  to  a  considerable  local  trade,  its 
small  port  now  being  frequently  crowded  with  shipping.  Kent's  Hole,  near 
Torquay,  and  a  similar  cavern  near  Brixham,  are  remarkable  on  account  of  the 
stone  implements,  human  remains,  and  bones  of  animals  which  have  been  found  in 
them.  The  fossil  fauna  of  these  underground  galleries  embraces  forty-six  or  forty- 
seven  species  of  animals,  including  the  bear,  otter,  fox,  wolf,  hyena,  panther,  stag, 
ox,  pig,  rhinoceros,  and  elephant,  and,  amongst  the  smaller  animals,  the  mouse.* 
Flint  implements,  which  first  attracted  the  notice  of  men  of  science,  were  discovered 
between  1825  and  1841.     Kent's  Hole  has  been  known  for  centuries,  and,  accord- 


Fig.  49. — Eddystone  Rocks. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chart. 


.«  — 


EDDY- STONE  ROOCS    '^  ^7 

Soimdmgs  in  Tathoms  ^<'  ^      *  :  $    . 

their  AdS^tt^orelofvWcrfcp^ia^     ^^  ^«*-=-     -.=r.  — • '      -^=*=— 

ff         __,      _       7'rcfe  Sipplmffs    £^  's^  ^,^     1    •-  ^    ^ 


J5 


6) 


\-t 


:5 


'~^:^.  ^^^~ 


^ 


\-  ^'Th-'  ^  —  ■••^— 


7      I;: '  "  tf     TldeKippfm^ 


vrsibffli-mHts.       , 


I ....  n£i*t 


7feeV: 


12  13 

6 


0       Joo      300     300      400     500     600  AetorJL  caale 


ing  to  local  tradition,  it  owes  its  name  to  a  falcon  which  flew  into  it  and  reappeared 
in  the  county  of  Kent. 

8t.  Mary  Church,  a  couple  of  miles  to  the  north  of  Torquay,  has  marble  and 
terra-cotta  works.  Teignmoiith  has  marble  works,  and  exports  potter's  clay  and 
cider,  besides  granite  from  the  Heytor  quarries.  Neicton  Abbot  and  Woolborough 
lie  5  miles  inland,  whilst  Boveij  Tracey,  known  to  geologists  for  its  lignite  coal 
beds  and  diggings  of  potter's  clay,  occupies  the  centre  of  a  valley  which  joins  that 
of  the  Teiffn  on  the  east.     Dawlish,  a  short  distance  to  the  north  of  Teignmouth, 


*  MacEnery ;  Pengelly,  "  Kent's  Hole;"  Boyd  Dawkins  {Journal  of  the  Geological  Society,  vol.  xxv. 


1869). 


92 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


at  the  foot  of  steep  cliffs,  has  grown  from  a  small  fishing  village  into  a  fashion- 
able watering-place. 

Exmoiith  commands  the  entrance  to  the  estuary  of  the  river  Exe.  It  is  charm- 
ingly situated,  and  is  much  resorted  to  by  sea-bathers.  Ascending  the  Exe,  we 
reach  Toj}shmn,  which  has  ship  yards  and  rope-walks,  and  is  connected  by  a  ship 
canal,  15  feet  deep,  with  the  city  of  Exeter.  The  Exe  is  said  to  have  been  formerly 
navigable  for  sea- going  vessels  as  far  as  the  quays  of  Exeter,  but  the  municipality 


Fig.  50.— Tor  Bay. 
Scale  1  :  120,000. 


Under  5  Fathoms. 


Over  5  Fathoms. 
1  Mile. 


having  offended  the  neighbouring  nobility  by  forbidding  inhabitants  of  the  town 
to  appear  in  the  livery  of  a  lord  without  previously  obtaining  the  license  of  the 
mayor  and  his  council,  an  Earl  of  Devon  had  the  water  dammed  above  Topsham, 
and  thus  caused  the  river  to  silt  up  rapidly.  The  village  of  Topsham,  which 
was  his  property,  then  became  the  port  of  the  whole  district.  It  is,  however,  far 
more  reasonable  to  suppose  that  the  Exe  became  silted  up  through  the  slow  opera- 
tion of  natural  agencies. 


DEVONSHIEE. 


93 


Exeter  is  proudly  seated  upon  a  steep  hill  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Exe.  This 
ancient  capital  of  the  West  Saxons,  whose  resistance  to  the  Normans  was  broken 
by  the  massacre  ordered  by  William  the  Conqueror  in  1085,  still  possesses  several 
remarkable  mediaeval  buildings,  including  the  remains  of  the  Norman  castle  of 


Fig.    51. — EXETEII   AND    THE   ESTUARY    OF   THE    ExE. 
Scale  1  :  250.000. 


5-  30' 


3°25' 


W.oF  Gr 


Depth  under  5  Fathoms. 


5  to  10  Fathoms.  Over  10  Fathoms. 

__^_^— .^^  2  Miles. 


Rougemont,  portions  of  the  old  city  walls,  a  Guildhall  of  the  sixteenth  century, 
and,  above  all,  its  cathedral.  This  edifice  was  erected  between  1107  and  1206  ;  it 
boasts  of  fine  stained-glass  windows,  curious  paintings  on  stone,  and  beautiful  wood 
carvings,  and  is  the  only  church  in  England  which  has  transeptal  towers.    Amongst 


94 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


modern  buildings  the  most  striking  is  the  Albert  Museum.  In  tbe  beginning  of 
the  sixteenth  century  Exeter  was  the  centre  of  the  English  woollen  industry,  since 
transferred  to  Yorkshire.  Crediton,  7  miles  to  the  north-west,  on  the  river  Greedy, 
a  tributary  of  the  Exe,  lies  in  the  centre  of  a  prosperous  agricultural  district.  The 
parish  of  Sandford,  near  it,  is  said  to  be  the  most  fertile  in  all  Devonshire. 
Tiverton,  a  place  of  some  importance  on  the  Upper  Exe,  engages  in  the  lace  trade 
and  net-making. 

Sidmouth  and  Axmouth  are  favourite  watering-places  to  the  east  of  the  Exe. 
Sidmouth,  in  a  narrow  glen  formed  by  the  river  Sid,  occupies  a  site  of  striking 
beauty,  red  cliffs  of  Devonian  sandstone  presenting  a  charming  contrast  to  the 
white  sand  of  the  beach  and  the  greenish  floods  of  the  English  Channel.  Axmouth,  on 
the  other  hand,  has  become  famous  through  a  landslip  which  occurred  in  December, 
1839,  and  has  formed  the  subject  of  careful  observation  on  the. part  of  Sir  Charles 

Fig.  52.— Exeter  Cathedral. 


Lyell  and  other  geologists.  A  mass  of  chalk  and  sandstone,  resting  upon  a  bed  of 
sand,  had  become  thoroughly  saturated  with  water.  The  sand  being  unable  any 
longer  to  support  the  superincumbent  mass,  the  whole  of  it  slid  down  upon  the 
beach,  producing  a  rent  4,000  feet  long,  250  feet  wide,  and  100  to  150  feet  deep. 

Honiton  and  Ottenj  St.  Manj,  both  on  the  river  Otter,  and  Colyton,  on  the 
river  Axe,  are  the  principal  seats  for  the  manufacture  of  pillow  lace.  Honiton  is 
noted  for  its  cleanliness,  Ottery  St.  Mary  for  its  church,  which  is  an  imitation  of 
Exeter  Cathedral  on  a  reduced  scale,  and  Colyton  for  its  flint-built,  slate-covered 
houses.  Axminster,  on  a  hill  overlooking  the  Axe,  has  a  famous  old  church,  and 
was  formerly  noted  for  its  carpets,  but  their  manufacture  has  been  discontinued 
since  1835. 

Barnstaple  is  the  principal  town  in  North  Devonshire.  It  lies  in  a  verdant 
valley  at  the  head  of  the  estuary  of  the  Taw,  has  ship-yards,  potteries,  and  a  few 


DEVONSHIEE.  95 

other  manufectures,  and  a  port  accessible  to  coasting  vessels.  It  is  mucli  frequented 
bv  tourists  on  their  way  to  the  delightful  watering-places  of  Ilfracombe  and  Lyn- 
moufh,  at  the  foot  of  the  cliffs  and  escarpments  in  which  Exmoor  Forest  terminates 
towards  the  Bristol  ChanneL  South  Molton,  in  the  interior  of  the  county,  to  the 
south-east  of  Barnstaple,  has  iron  mines.  Bide/ord,  on  the  estuary  of  the  Torrid ge, 
which  is  tributary  to  that  of  the  Taw,  possesses  greater  facilities  for  navigation, 
its  quays  being  accessible  to  vessels  of  500  tons  burden.  Xoriham  lies  to  the 
north  of  it,  on  the  estuary.  We^firard  Ho  '  on  the  open  ocean,  to  the  west  of 
it,  is  rising  into  favour  as  a  watering-place.  TorrimgUm,  where  leather  gloves  are 
made,  is  the  only  town  of  any  importance  on  the  Torridge  above  BidefonL 


CHAPTER  IV. 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  SEVERN  AND  THE  BRISTOL  CHANNEL. 
(Shropshire,  Worcestershire,  Warwickshire,  HE^EFORDSHiaE,  Gloucestershire,  Somersetshire.) 

General  Features. 

HE  upper  watershed  of  the  Severn  lies  within  Wales,  but  no  sooner 
has  that  river  become  navigable  than  it  crosses  the  boundary  into 
England,  and,  sweeping  round  to  the  south  and  south-west,  it  irri- 
gates the  gently  inclined  plains  bounded  by  the  distant  escarpments 
of  table-lands.  The  six  shires  whose  boundaries  approximately 
coincide  with  those  of  the  basin  of  the  Severn,  including  therein  the  Avon 
and  other  rivers  tributary  to  the  Bristol  Channel,  are  distinguished,  upon  the 
whole,  for  gentle  undulations,  fertility  of  soil,  beauty  and  variety  of  scenery, 
and  facility  of  communication,  and  they  have  consequently  attracted  a  large 
population. 

Still,  along  the  Welsh  boundary  there  rise  a  few  hills  which  are  almost 
entitled  to  be  called  mountains.  A  range  of  heights,  rising  to  an  altitude  of  1,250 
feet,  occupies  nearly  the  centre  of  the  wide  curve  formed  by  the  Severn.  This  is 
the  Long  Mynd,  which  is  of  very  humble  aspect,  if  compared  with  the  Snowdon 
and  other  mountain  giants  of  Wales,  but  famous  in  the  geology  of  England  as 
being  the  "foundation-stone,'*  as  it  were,  of  the  whole  country,  for  it  was 
around  this  small  nucleus  of  Cambrian  rocks  that  the  more  recent  sedimentary 
strata  were  deposited.*  The  Long  Mynd  and  other  ranges  in  that  part  of 
Shropshire  are  joined  on  the  one  side  to  the  hills  of  Wales,  whilst  in  the 
north-east  they  extend  to  the  Severn,  and  may  be  traced  even  beyond  that  river, 
where  the  Wrekin  (1,320  feet)  rises  almost  in  the  centre  of  the  county.  The  view 
from  its  summit  is  superb,  extending  from  Derbyshire  to  Snowdon.  The  range 
of  the  Clee  Hills  (1,788  feet),  somewhat  more  elevated  than  the  Long  Mynd, 
stretches  to  the  southward,  and  bounds  the  valley  of  the  Severn  in  the  west.  It 
is  continued  in  the  Malvern  Hills  (1,396  feet),  famous  for  the  diversity  of  their 
scenery,  the  purity  and  salubrity  of  their  air,  their  variety  of  vegetation,  and  the 
*  Murchison,  "  Siluria  :  The  Historv  of  the  Oldest  Rocks." 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  SEVERN  AND  THE  BRISTOL  CHANNEL. 


97 


virtue  of  their  medicinal  springs.  Whilst  the  Malvern  Hills  are  covered  with 
villas  and  hotels,  the  Forest  of  Dean,  to  the  south  of  them,  has  become  a  great 
centre  of  industry,  abounding  in  coal  and  iron.  Dean  Forest,  notwithstanding  its 
coal-pits  and  blast  furnaces,  is  a  picturesque  district,  comprising  some  26,000  acres 
of  wild  woodland,  producing  some  of  the  finest  timber  in  the  country. 

Of  the  ranges  which  bound  the  vale  of  the  Severn  on  the  east,  the  Cotswold 
Hills,  rising  in  Cleeve  Hill  to  a  height  of  1,134  feet,  are  the  most  important. 
These  hills  are  named  after  their  "cots,"  or  shepherds'  huts,  and  have  in  turn 
given  their  name  to  one  of  the  most  highly  prized  breeds  of  sheep,  whose  excellence 
is  due  to  the  short  and  savoury  grass  which  grows  upon  the  oolitic  rocks.      This 


Fig.  53. — Promontories  and  Beach  of  "Weston-supek-Make. 
Scale  1  :  195,000. 


WoF  Or 


Foreshore. 


Depth  under 
2i  Fathoms. 


Depth  2i  to  5 
Fathoms. 


3  Miles. 


Depth  over  5 
Fathoms. 


range  terminates  in  the  hills  which  form  so  fine  an  amphitheatre  around  Bath,  on 
the  Avon,  and  may  be  traced  even  beyond  that  river,  where  there  are  a  few 
heights  belonging  to  the  same  geological  formations.  The  environs  of  Bath 
are  well  known  for  their  fossil  wealth.  Here  cuttle-fish  of  gigantic  size  have 
been  found,  which  still  retained  pigment  fit  for  use,  notwithstanding  the  count- 
less ages  that  must  have  elapsed  from  the  time  of  its  secretion  by  the  living 
organism. 

Towards  its  mouth  the  valley  of  the  Severn  is  almost  shut  in  by  spurs  thrown 
ofi"  from  the  mountains  of  Wales  and  the  range  of  the  Cotswolds.  To  the  north  of 
this  ancient  barrier  the  vale  of  Gloucester  widens,  its  shape  being  that  of  a 
triangle  whose   apex  lies  in  the  south.       The   rocks   spread   over  the  valley  of 


98  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

the  Severn  and  that  of  its  affluent,  the  Avon,  are  triassic,  but  there  was  a 
time  when  ranges  of  carboniferous  limestone  extended  right  across  the  Bristol 
Channel,  connecting  the  hills  of  Somerset  with  those  of  Wales.  The  Mendip 
Hills  (1,067  feet)  are  a  remnant  of  this  formation,  and  so  are  the  three  parallel 
ridges  near  Weston-super-Mare,  which  jut  out  into  the  Bristol  Channel.  The 
cape  facing  them  in  Wales  belongs  to  the  same  formation,  as  do  also  the  forti- 
fied islands  of  Steepholm  (240  feet)  and  Flatholm,  which  connect  the  fragments 
of  the  ancient  limestone  range,  which  has  disappeared  through  long-continued 
erosive  action.  These  islands,  together  with  the  sand-banks  in  their  neighbour- 
hood, form  the  natural  boundary  between  the  estuary  of  the  Severn  and  the  Bristol 
Channel. 

The  Severn,  in  comparison  with  the  great  rivers  of  continental  Europe,  is 
only  a  feeble  stream.  About  30  inches  of  rain  fall  within  its  basin,  and  this 
amount  would  be  sufficient  to  sustain  a  river  discharging  11,000  cubic  feet  of 
water  per  second  throughout  the  year,  if  large  quantities  were  not  absorbed  by  the 
vegetation,  sucked  up  by  the  soil,  or  evaporated  into  the  air.  It  is  only  by  the 
construction  of  locks  that  the  Severn,  up  to  Worcester,  has  been  converted  into 
a  navigable  river,  having  an  average  depth  of  nearly  8  feet.  The  Wye,  Usk, 
Lower  Avon,  and  other  rivers,  which  discharge  themselves  into  the  estuary  of  the 
Severn,  are  usually  looked  upon  as  its  affluents,  though  in  reality  they  are 
independent  rivers,  having  their  proper  regime,  and  forming  minor  estuaries  of 
their  own.  Including  these,  the  Severn  drains  an  area  of  8,119  square  miles;  it 
discharges  on  an  average  5,300  cubic  feet  of  water  per  second,  a  quantity  raised  to 
12,000  cubic  feet  when  it  is  in  flood.* 

In  no  other  part  of  Europe  does  the  tide  rise  to  the  same  height  as  in  the 
Bristol  Channel  and  the  estuary  of  the  Severn.  In  reality  we  have  to  do  here 
with  three  tidal  waves,  which  enter  the  channel  simultaneously,  and  increase  in 
height  and  vehemence  in  proportion  to  the  resistance  they  meet  with  on  their 
progress  up  the  funnel-shaped  estuary.  One  of  these  tidal  waves  originates  in  the 
open  Atlantic,  and  travels  along  the  coast  from  the  Land's  End ;  the  second  is 
thrown  back  by  the  coast  of  Ireland,  and  enters  through  the  centre  of  the  channel ; 
a  third  arrives  from  the  northern  part  of  the  Irish  Sea,  coalesces  with  the  former  off 
St.  David's  Head,  and  thus  doubles  its  height.  This  enormous  mass  of  water, 
discoloured  by  the  waste  of  the  land  resulting  from  its  erosive  action,  rushes  up 
the  channel  with  considerable  velocity,  producing  a  rise  at  ordinary  tides  of  40  to 
43  feet.     At  spring  tides  the  rise  at  Chepstow,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Wye,  is  60 

*  Kivers  which  discharge  themselves  into  the  estuary  of  the  Severn  :— 

Drainage  Basin.  Length.  Average. 

Sq.  Miles.  Miles.  Cubic  Feet. 

Severn     .         .         .         4,350  158  5,300  per  sec. 

Avon  of  Bristol        .            891  62  1,100 

Wye        .        .        .        1,609  135  2,100 

Usk-         ...            540  65  880 

Smaller  rivers .        .           729  186  1,000 

Total         8,119  606  10,380 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  SEVERN  AND  THE  BRISTOL  CHANNEL. 


99 


feet.  The  Severn  estuary  presents  the  aspect  of  a  river  only  at  low  water, 
when  in  some  places  it  is  no  more  than  from  700  to  900  feet  wide.  Sand- 
hanks  and  ledges  of  rock  then  make  their  appearance  above  the  water,  and 
vessels  which  fail  to  take  advantage  of  the  rising  tide  to  reach  their  port  of  desti- 
nation are  obliged  to  cast  anchor  in  some  favourable  spot,  until  the  next  tide 
enables  them  to  proceed  on  their  voyage.  At  low  water  the  Lower  Severn  is 
scarcely  navigable,  and  even  the  mouths  of  the  Wye  and  Avon  are  sometimes 
inaccessible.     As  to  the  fishing- smacks,  they  allow  the  retiring  tide  to  leave  them 


Fig.  54.— Bristol  Channel. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chart. 


Mtan 
H 
S'lrry  TV. 

'""Mr^^       ~'    f  ?aJ^rvH  .       V. 

^^  yy  BoJiislaple   lind^jf         TI 


high  and  dry  upon  a  sand-bank.  From  afar  the  fishermen  see  the  shining  crest  of 
the  approaching  tidal  wave  ;  soon  the  river  is  arrested  in  its  flow  and  turned  back 
upon  itself ;  the  sand-bank  grows  less  and  less  ;  the  waves  approach  the  sides  of 
the  vessel ;  they  burrow  in  the  sand  in  which  its  keel  is  embedded,  and  gradually 
uplift  it.  The  steersman  once  more  grasps  the  helm,  and  he  finds  himself  afloat, 
where  but  a  few  minutes  before  there  extended  a  mere  waste  of  sand.  In  the  upper 
and  narrower  part  of  the  estuary,  where  the  interval  between  low  and  high  water 
is  very  short,  the  advancing  tide- wave  rushes  suddenly  up,  and  forms  a  dangerous 
bore.     At  spring  tides  this  bore  is  felt  as  high  up  as  Gloucester,  and  owing  to  its 


100 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


suddenness  is  dangerous  to  small  craft.  Shouts  of  "  Flood  O  !  flood  O  !  "  herald 
its  approach,  and  warn  boatmen  to  prepare  to  meet  its  shock.  The  tide-waves, 
especially  when  a  high  wind  blows  up  channel,  frequently  endanger  the  safety 
of  the  coast  lands,  and  miles  of  sea-wall  have  been  constructed  for  their  protec- 


tion. 


Some  of  the  sand-banks  in  the  channel  of  the  Severn  are  of  considerable  extent, 
that  known  as  the  Welsh  Grounds,  for  instance,  covering  an  area  of  10  square 
miles.     They  have   been  utilised,  in  a  few  cases,   for  the  construction  of  piers, 


Fig.  55.— Railway  Fekry  at  Portskewet. 
Scale  1  :  75,000. 


im^^wm^m 


Q-39'        W.ofGj-. 


Foreshore. 


1  Mile. 


as  at  Portskewet,  where  a  railway  ferry-boat  crosses  the  river  at  regular  intervals. 
Until  quite  recently  the  first  bridge  met  with  on  ascending  the  Severn  was  that  of 
Gloucester,  but  since  1879  a  railway  bridge  has  spanned  the  river  at  the  Sharpness 
Docks,  above  the  entrance  to  the  Gloucester  and  Berkeley  Ship  Canal.  Including 
a  masonry  approach,  this  bridge  has  a  total  length  of  4,162  feet.  It  is  composed 
of  bowstring  girders,  carried  on  cast-iron  cylinders  filled  with  concrete.  Two  of  its 
spans  have  a  width  of  327  feet  each,  with  a  headway  of  70  feet  above  the 
high- water  level  of  ordinary  spring  tides. 

The  basin  of  the  Severn  is  designed  by  nature  as  a  region  of  great  commercial 


SHREWSBURY-HOUSE  OF  THE  SIXTEENTH  CENTURY. 


SHROPSHIRE.  101 

activity,  for  whilst,  on  the  one  hand,  it  impinges  upon  the  coal-fields  of  Wales,  it 
approaches  on  the  other  the  metalliferous  formations  of  Cornwall,  and  its  eastern 
affluents  mingle  their  waters,  in  the  very  centre  of  England,  with  those  of  the 
Trent  and  Thames,  which  flow  to  the  German  Ocean.  But  this  region  is  peculiarly 
favoured  by  the  vast  estuary  of  the  Severn  in  its  commercial  intercourse  with 
trans- Atlantic  countries.  This  estuary  is  a  counterpart  of  that  of  the  Thames, 
and  lies  under  the  same  latitude.  Jointly  they  almost  sever  Southern  England 
from  the  northern  part  of  the  island,  and  merely  looking  to  geographical  features, 
we  might  conclude  that  the  two  leading  commercial  towns  of  the  country  would 
have  sprung  up  on  these  great  natural  outlets.  But  whilst  London  actually  holds 
that  position  with  reference  to  the  neighbouring  countries  of  continental  Europe, 
Bristol  has  not  been  able  to  maintain  its  superiority  in  the  face  of  the  competition 
of  Liverpool.  Its  geographical  position  is  no  doubt  more  favourable  than  that 
of  the  great  seaport  of  Lancashire,  and  during  a  considerable  period  it  main- 
tained its  rank  as  the  foremost  commercial  town  of  Western  England.  Geographi- 
cal disadvantages,  however,  are  more  than  counterbalanced,  in  the  case  of  Liverpool, 
by  its  vicinity  to  productive  coal,  iron,  and  salt  mines,  and  populous  manufacturing 
towns. 

Topography. 

Shropshire,  or  Salop,  is  divided  by  the  Severn  into  two  almost  equal  portions, 
that  to  the  north  and  east  of  the  river  being  for  the  most  part  flat  or  undulating, 
whilst  hills  of  moderate  elevation  occupy  the  tract  beyond  the  Severn.  The 
so-called  plain  of  Shrewsbury,  which  extends  into  the  county  from  the  borders  of 
Cheshire  and  stretches  beyond  the  Severn  as  far  as  Church  Stretton,  forms  a  cha- 
racteristic feature,  and  is  known  for  its  fertility.  On  the  east  it  is  overlooked 
by  the  isolated  summit  of  the  Wrekin,  the  famous  landmark  of  the  entire 
county.  From  Clun  Forest,  in  the  west,  several  ranges  of  hills  radiate  like  the 
spokes  of  a  wheel,  extending  as  far  as  the  Severn,  and  in  some  instances  even 
beyond  it.  The  principal  of  these  ranges  are  the  Stiper  Stones,  Long  Mynd, 
Caradoc  Hills,  and  Wenlock  Edge.  Farther  east,  and  nearer  to  the  Severn,  rise 
the  Clee  Hills,  and  before  leaving  the  county  that  river  washes  the  foot  of  the 
heights  of  the  Forest  of  Wyre.  Tillage  and  husbandry  prevail  in  the  north, 
cattle  and  sheep  breeding  in  the  hilly  parts  of  the  county.  Much  cheese  is  made, 
and  a  breed  of  horned  sheep  is  peculiar  to  the  county.  Shropshire,  however,  is 
not  wholly  dependent  upon  agriculture,  for  it  possesses  productive  coal  and  iron 
mines.  Lead  is  also  raised,  but  the  copper  mines  appear  to  have  become 
exhausted.     The  manufactures  are  comparatively  unimportant. 

Shrewsbury,  the  capital  of  the  county,  is  the  first  town  washed  by  the  Severn 
after  that  river  has  left  Wales.  In  former  times  it  was  a  place  of  great 
military  importance,  and  the  lofty  peninsula,  almost  encircled  by  the  Severn,  upon 
which  it  is  seated,  was  strongly  fortified  by  walls  and  a  Norman  castle,  of  which 
there  still  exist  considerable  remains.  Perhaps  no  other  town  in  England  is  equally 
rich  in  fine  mediseval   buildings.     The  market-house   dates    from  the  sixteenth 


102 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


century;  the  Council  House  is  an  old  mansion,  where  the  court  of  the  Welsh 
Marches  was  held.  St.  Mary's  Church  has  an  octagonal  spire  and  a  profusion  of 
stained  glass.  ''Butchers'  Row"  is  interesting  on  account  of  its  quaint  shops. 
Monuments  have  been  raised  in  honour  of  Lord  Hill  and  Lord  Clive.     Shrewsbury 


Pig.  56.— Shrewsbury. 
From  the  Ordnance  Survey  Map.    Scale  1  :  63,1 


pr^fTfi*^ 


\  ^".  "^^'Ac-^-fe^. 


iMile. 


carries  on  the  manufacture  of  flannel,  agricultural  machmery,  and  linen- weaving, 
but  is  essentially  an  agricultural  town.  It  is  famous  for  its  brawn  and 
cakes. 

Descending  the  Severn,  we  soon  reach   Wroxeter,  a  village  with   a  Norman 
church,  and  the  ruins  of  the  Roman  city  of  Uriconium,  at  the  foot  of  the  Wrekin. 


SHKOPSHIRE.  108 

Host  of  the  antiquities  discovered  on  this  spot  have  been  deposited  in  the  museum 
of  Shrewsbury,  but  the  visitor  may  still  trace  part  of  the  old  wall,  the  foundations 
of  a  basilica,  and  the  remains  of  baths.  The  Roman  city  was  probably  destroyed 
by  the  Saxons,  in  the  sixth  century,  when  its  defenders  were  Eomanised  Britons. 

Below  Wroxeter  the  Severn  enters  a  narrow  gorge,  and  passes  through  the  coal 
and  iron  district  of  the  county.  Leaving  the  ruins  of  Buildtcas  Ahhey  on  our  left, 
we  soon  reach  the  iron  bridge  which  joins  the  town  of  Ironhridge  to  that  of 
Broseky,  and  is  the  oldest  bridge  of  the  kind  in  the  world,  having  been  erected  in 
1779  by  Abraham  Darby,  of  Coalbrookdale.  Broseley  is  noted  for  its  tiles  and 
tobacco-pipes,  whilst  the  cluster  of  towns  on  the  opposite  bank  of  the  river, 
including  Ironhridge,  Coalbrookdale,  Daicley  Magna,  and  Madeley,  is  the  seat  of  a 
flourishing  iron  industry,  which  spreads  northward  through  the  beautiful  dale  of 
Coalbrook  as  far  as  Wellington,  and  in  the  north-east  to  Shifnal.  Coalport,  a  few 
miles  below  the  bridge,  has  potteries  and  china  works.  The  iron  industry  of  this 
district  was  established  in  1709,  and  the  works  have  retained  their  reputation  for 
fine  castings.  It  is  probable,  however,  that  these  populous  towns  will  at  no  very 
remote  time  sink  as  rapidly  into  insignificance  as  they  have  risen  into  importance. 
The  whole  of  the  western  portion  of  this  Shropshire  coal  basin  has  become 
exhausted,  and  large  tracts  exhibit  only  abandoned  works  and  heaps  of  rubbish, 
which  are  gradually  becoming  clothed  with  soil.  Sooner  or  later  grass  and 
herbage  will  spring  up  upon  them,  and  it  will  then  be  impossible  to  distinguish 
them  from  natural  hillocks.  Two-thirds  of  the  coal  originally  stored  in  this  basin 
have  already  been  raised  to  the  surface,  and  before  many  years  the  iron-masters  and 
coal  miners  will  migrate  to  the  east,  in  order  to  tap  the  coal  beds  which  there 
underlie  the  Permian  and  new  red  sandstone  formations.* 

To  the  south  of  this  industrial  district  the  Severn  passes  between  "  low  *' 
and  "high"  Bridgenorth,  the  latter  perched  on  a  picturesque  cliflf  of  sandstone, 
150  feet  high.  Besides  the  remains  of  its  Norman  castle,  Bridgenorth  may  boast 
of  several  half-timbered  houses,  including  that  in  which  Bishop  Percy,  the  collector 
of  the  "  Eeliques,"  was  born. 

The  few  towns  in  the  northern  portion  of  the  county  are  quiet  centres  of 
agricultural  districts.  They  include  Osicestry,  in  the  north-west,  amidst  prettily 
wooded  hills,  between  Offa's  and  Watt's  Dykes,  the  ancient  frontier  of  Wales ; 
FAlesmere  and  Whitchurch  in  the  north  ;  Market  Drayton,  on  the  Upper  Tern  and 
the  Birmingham  and  Liverpool  Canal ;  and  Newport. 

In  the  hilly  region,  bounded  on  the  north  and  east  by  the  valley  of  the  Severn, 
and  in  the  south  by  that  of  its  tributary  the  Teme,  there  are  only  small  market 
towns  and  villages.  The  principal  of  these  are  Much  Wenlock,  the  centre  of  an 
extensive  borough,  including  a  considerable  portion  of  the  county ;  Cleohury- 
Mortimer,  in  the  Clee  Hills ;  Church  Stretton,  in  a  fertile  pastoral  district,  between 
the  Caradoc  Hills  and  Long  Mynd  ;  and  Bishop's  Castle,  on  the  Welsh  border.  The 
river  Teme  runs  along  the  southern  border  of  the  county.  On  it  stands  Ludlow,  a 
famous  old  border-town,  with  curious  timber  houses  and  an  extensive  Norman 
*  Edward  Hull,  "  The  Coal-fields  of  Great  Britain." 


104  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

castle,  where  Milton  wrote  the  masque  of  Comus,  and  Samuel  Butler  his 
"Hudibras."  The  town  boasts  a  museum,  rich  in  Silurian  fossils  found  in  the 
castle  rock,  and  whilst  these  attract  geologists,  the  picturesque  environs  are  the 
delight  of  all  lovers  of  nature.  Higher  up  on  the  Teme  is  Clun,  a  quiet  place 
with  a  ruined  castle.  In  its  neighbourhood  small  freehold  properties,  tilled  by 
the  proprietors  and  their  families,  are  numerous. 

Worcestershire  occupies  the  central  portion  of  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Severn, 
here  about  15  miles  in  width,  and  shut  in  on  the  west  by  the  Abberley  and 
Malvern  Hills  (1,396  feet),  and  on  the  east  by  the  Clent  and  Lickey  (Hagley) 
Hills.  The  Teme,  which  comes  down  from  the  Welsh  hills,  flows  through  a  narrow 
valley,  whilst  the  Avon  irrigates  the  fertile  vale  of  Evesham.  The  north-eastern 
portion  of  the  county,  beyond  the  Lickey  Hills,  is  only  in  part  drained  by  the 
Severn.  Its  soil,  in  many  places,  is  poor  and  arid,  but  this  is  compensated  for  by 
the  existence  of  rich  beds  of  coal  and  ironstone.  Worcestershire,  besides  cattle 
and  dairy  produce,  yields  fine  wool,  hops,  apples,  and  excellent  cider.  There  are 
coal,  iron,  and  salt  mines,  and  the  manufactures  are  of  considerable  importance. 

If  we  follow  the  Severnas  it  crosses  from  Shropshire  into  Worcestershire,  the 
first  town  we  meet  with  is  Bewdley,  a  quaint  old  place  with  many  timbered  houses, 
close  to  the  fine  scenery  of  the  Forest  of  Wyre.  Lower  down  is  Stourport,  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Stour,  which  exports  the  produce  of  Kidderminster  and  Stourbridge, 
higher  up  on  that  tributary  of  the  Severn.  Kidderminster,  a  dingy  town,  is 
famous  for  its  carpet- weaving,  whilst  Stourbridge  has  glass  manufactories,  brick 
works,  collieries,  and  tin-plate  works.  The  making  of  glass  was  here  first  intro- 
duced in  1555.  Resuming  our  journey  down  the  Severn,  we  reach  the  mouth  of 
the  Salwarpe,  in  the  narrow  valley  of  which  is  situate  the  old  town  of  Droittvich, 
known  for  its  brine  spring.  Still  lower  on  the  same  river,  at  Stoke  Prior,  there 
are  mines  of  rock-salt,  and  a  couple  of  miles  beyond  we  reach  JBromsgrove,  a  more 
important  town  than  either  of  those  named,  and  remarkable  for  its  curious  houses 
with  ornamental  gables.  Nail-making  and  the  manufacture  of  needles,  fish-hooks, 
buttons,  and  coarse  linens  are  here  carried  on. 

Worcester,  although  the  capital  of  the  county,  yields  to  Dudley  in  population, 
but  is  infinitely  superior  to  it  in  other  respects.  It  is  a  place  of  the  highest 
antiquity,  and  when  the  Romans  established  one  of  their  stations  there  it  had 
already  attained  some  importance.  Earthenware  and  other  relics  of  the  Roman 
dominion  have  been  placed  in  a  museum  built  within  the  walls  of  the  ancient 
castle.  In  the  Middle  Ages  Worcester  played  a  leading  part ;  and  during  the 
Revolution,  Cromwell,  in  1651,  inflicted  a  decisive  defeat  upon  the  Royalists  in  its 
neighbourhood.  The  cathedral,  standing  on  rising  ground,  is  the  most  conspicuous 
building  in  the  city.  It  presents  specimens  of  all  styles  of  architecture,  from  the 
earliest  Norman  to  the  latest  perpendicular.  Its  central  tower,  completed  in 
1374,  rises  to  a  height  of  192  feet.  The  town  has  lost  its  manufacture  of  carpets 
and  woollen  stuffs,  now  carried  on  at  Kidderminster,  but  is  famous  for  its 
leather  gloves,  its  china,  and  potted  lampreys.  The  Royal  China  Manufactory 
was  opened  in  1755.     Recently  erected  engine  works  add  to  the  prosperity  of  the 


WOECESTERSHIRE— WARWICKSHIRE.  105 

town,  whicli  also  carries  on  a  considerable  commerce  in  agricultural  produce.  But 
in  addition  to  being  a  town  of  business,  Worcester  enjoys  a  high  reputation  for  its 
social  amenities,  and  families  in  search  of  a  pleasant  retreat  are  attracted  to  it 
from  all  parts  of  England. 

Upton-on- Severn,  below  Worcester,  owes  its  importance  to  its  shipping,  for  the 
river  is  navigable  to  this  place  for  vessels  of  110  tons  burden. 

To  the  west  of  it  rise  the  Malvern  Hills,  famous  fo^  their  scenery,  no  less  than 
for  the  salubrious  spas  known  as  Great  Malvern,  West  Malvern,  and  Malvern 
Link,  which  have  been  established  on  their  slopes.  The  springs  to  which 
Malvern  owes  its  reputation  are  slightly  sulphureous,  and  in  no  other  part  of 
England  is  hydrotherapic  treatment  carried  on  with  the  same  success.  Tenhury, 
a  more  retiring  spa,  lies  in  the  valley  of  the  Teme.  Its  water  is  supposed  to 
be  most  effective  in  the  cure  of  cutaneous  diseases. 

Evesham  is  the  principal  town  of  Worcestershire  within  the  fertile  valley  of 
the  Avon.  It  boasts  a  famous  old  abbey  with  a  fine  bell  tower,  and,  though  now  a 
quiet  country  place,  has  been  the  scene  of  some  stirring  events.  On  Greenhill,  to 
the  north  of  the  town,  was  fought  the  battle  (1265)  in  which  Simon  de  Montfort, 
the  champion  of  the  barons  and  of  constitutional  government,  ''fought  stoutly 
for  the  liberties  of  England,"  but  fell,  overwhelmed  by  numbers.  A  miracu- 
lous well,  still  known  as  '*  Battle  Well,"  burst  forth  from  the  ground  on  the 
spot  where  Simon  de  Montfort  expired,  and  for  ages  attracted  pilgrims  in 
search  of  relief  from  their  ailments.  On  Vineyard  Hill,  on  the  other  side  of  the 
Avon,  the  vine  was  cultivated  from  the  time  of  the  Conquest  to  the  dissolution  of 
the  neighbouring  abbey.  Pershore,  lower  down  on  the  Avon,  has  a  famous  old 
church  with  a  handsome  lantern  tower  of  the  fourteenth  century,  held  to  be  not 
inferior  to  that  of  Lincoln  Cathedral. 

In  the  north  the  "  Black  Country  "  of  Staffordshire  overlaps  the  borders  of 
the  county,  and  has  given  birth  to  several  populous  towns,  the  seats  of  coal  mining 
and  iron  works.  Foremost  amongst  these  is  Dudley,  within  a  detached  portion  of 
the  county.  The  castle,  now  in  ruins,  dates  back  to  a  time  when  Dudley  was  yet 
a  quiet  country  town.  The  hill  which  it  crowns  has  yielded  large  quantities  of 
fossils,  which  have  been  deposited  in  the  local  museum.  The  Wenlock  Canal 
is  carried  through  it  by  means  of  a  tunnel.  Oldhury  and  Hales  Oicen,  one  to 
the  east  and  the  other  to  the  south  of  Dudley,  are  engaged  in  the  same  industries, 
nail-making  playing  a  leading  part.  Hugh  Miller  is  our  authority  for  stating 
that  the  severe  work  in  the  iron-mines  has  in  no  respect  been  detrimental  to  the 
physical  beauty  of  the  inhabitants,  which  is  most  striking  amongst  the  women, 
whilst  the  natives  of  the  Malvern  Hills,  notwithstanding  the  salubrious  aii 
they  breathe,  are  homely  in  appearance,  not  to  say  ugly.*  As  to  Balsall,  it  is  in 
reality  a  part  of  Birmingham.  The  only  other  town  to  be  noticed  is  Redditch, 
close  to  the  eastern  borders,  where  the  manufacture  of  needles  and  fish-hooks 
is  carried  on. 

Warwickshire,  one  of  the  midland  counties,  lies   almost  wholly  within   the 

*  Hugh  Miller,  "  First  Impressions  of  England  and  its  People." 
104— K 


106  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

basin  of  the  Avon,  only  a  small  section  of  its  extreme  northern  part  being  drained 
by  the  Tame  and  other  small  rivers  flowing  northward  to  the  Trent.  The  surface 
is  varied  only  by  gentle  undulations.  Formerly  nearly  the  whole  of  the  county 
was  an  extensive  forest,  and  it  still  retains  somewhat  of  this  ancient  character,  small 
patches  of  woodland  and  heath  being  by  no  means  infrequent.  The  Avon  is  the 
only  navigable  river,  but  canals  and  railways  afford  ready  means  of  intercommuni- 
cation. Coal  is  found  in  the  north,  and  as  a  manufacturing  county  Warwickshire 
takes  a  high  rank,  for  within  its  borders  lies  Birmingham,  the  centre  of  a  huge 
industrial  district. 

The  Avon,  the  principal  eastern  affluent  of  the  Severn,  rises  nearer  to  the 
German  Ocean  than  to  the  Bristol  Channel.  Its  springs  lie  in  Northamptonshire, 
near  Naseby  Hill,  rendered  famous  by  the  defeat  of  the  Royalists  in  1645.  The 
first  town  in  Warwickshire  which  is  reflected  in  its  waters  is  Rughy,  celebrated 
for  its  grammar  school,  founded  in  1567.  The  original  endowment  of  this  public 
school  consisted  of  8  acres  of  land,  near  the  city  of  London,  yielding  an  annual 
income  of  £8.  In  course  of  time  these  have  become  covered  with  houses,  and 
produce  now  an  annual  revenue  exceeding  £6,000.  The  school  occupies  a  fine 
Gothic  building,  and  is  attended  by  five  hundred  pupils. 

Warwick,  the  capital    of  the   county,    occupies   a   central   position.     It  has 

played  a  great  part  in  the  history  of  the  English  people.       Its  castle,  on  a  hill 

washed  by  the  waters  of  the  Avon,  and  seated  in  the  midst  of  a  fine  park,  was  one 

of  the  most  magnificent  and  extensive  castles  of  the  Middle  Ages,  and  much  of  its 

pristine  beauty  still  survives.     In  1871  a  fire  threatened  destruction  to  this  seat  of 

Warwick  the  King-maker,  but  the  damage  sustained  has  been  repaired,  and  the 

costly  paintings  and    other  treasures   of  art  were  fortunately  saved.     Foremost 

amongst   these   is  the   celebrated  Warwick  Vase,  recovered    from    the  ruins  of 

the    Emperor  Adrian's  villa   at  Tivoli.      "  Caesar's  Tower "  is    probably  as  old 

as  the  Conquest,  but  from  Guy's  Tower  may  be  obtained  a  more  magnificent  view. 

Looking  northward,  we  catch  a  glimpse  of  another  castle,  almost  equally  famous, 

namely,  Kenilworth,  where  Dudley,  Earl  of  Leicester,  entertained  Queen  Elizabeth 

for  seventeen  days  (1575).      Cromwell  caused  this  stronghold  to  be  dismantled, 

and  its  extensive  and  picturesque  ruins  now  form  one  of  the    great  attractions 

of   the  visitors  to  the  neighbouring  spa  of  Leamington.     In  1811  this  favourite 

resort  of  invalids  and  pleasure- seekers  was   a  humble  and  obscure  village  of  five 

hundred  inhabitants.     Since  then  the  fame  of  its  sulphureous,  saline,  and  chalybeate 

springs  has  gone  on  increasing,  and  with  it  the  number  of  residents  and  visitors,  and 

now  this  new  town  far  exceeds  in  population  its  venerable  neighbour  Warwick, 

from  which  it  is  still  separated  by  the  Avon,  here  joined  by  the  Leam,  but  which 

its  new  streets  are  rapidly  approaching. 

Only  a  few  miles  below  Warwick  we  reach  another  town  rich  in  historical 
associations.  This  is  Stratford- on- Avon,  the  birthplace  of  Shakspere,  The 
house  in  which  the  poet  lived,  and  was  probably  born,  still  exists,  and  there  are 
few  monuments  held  in  higher  veneration  than  this  humble  dwelling,  now 
converted  into  a  museum.      The  last  descendant  of  the  family,  having  become 


WAEWICKSHIRE. 


107 


impoverislied,  was  compelled  to  leave  it  about  the  commencement  of  this  century. 
The  great  dramatist  lies  buried  in  the  parish  church,  and  a  monument  was  raised 
in  his  honour  by  Grarrick,  the  actor.  A  small  theatre  has  been  recently  erected  in 
celebration  of  the  third  centenary  of  his  birth,  and  contains  a  Shakspere  library, 
together  with  works  of  art  relating  to  the  poet.  The  environs  of  the  town  abound 
in  sites  and  villages  referred  to  in  Shakspere's  plays  and  ballads,  and  there  even 


Fig.  57. — Wakwick  and  Leamington. 


1-35 


Wof  G 


r30- 


2  Miles. 


survive  a  few  patches  of  the  extensive  forests  in  which  he  used  to  poach  when  a 
youth. 

The  Arrow  joins  the  Avon  shortly  before  the  river  crosses  the  border  of 
Worcestershire.  In  its  valley  lie  Alcester,  the  Roman  Alauna,  with  many  quaint 
old  houses,  and  Studley,  with  the  ruins  of  an  abbey.  Needles  and  fish-hooks  are 
manufactured  in  both  these  towns.  Henley-in-Arden,  a  small  market  town, 
occupies  almost  the  centre  of  the  ancient  Forest  of  Arden,  between  Studley  and 
Warwick. 


108 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


Coventry,  on  the  Sherbourne,  a  small  tributary  of  the  Avon,  is  far  more 
populous  than  either  of  the  towns  mentioned.  Its  name  recalls  the  ancient 
convent  around  which  the  first  houses  were  built.  Originally  Coventry  was  a 
place  of  processions  and  pilgrimages,  and  legends  and  popular  sayings  testify  to 
the  reputation  which  it  enjoyed  during  the  Middle  Ages.  Best  known  amongst 
these  legends  is  that  of  Lady  Godiva,  the  wife  of  Leofric,  and  -Peeping  Tom." 
St.  Michael's  Church,  with  a  steeple  303  feet  in  height,  is  one  of  the  finest  Gothic 
edifices  in  the  country.     Formerly  Coventry  was   noted  for  its  cloth,  but  for  its 


Fig.  58.— Stratfohd-on-Avon. 
Scale  1  :  88,400. 


2  Miles. 


present  prosperity  it  is  mainly  dependent  upon  the  manufacture  of  ribbons, 
which  was  introduced  by  French  refugees  who  settled  there  after  the  revocar 
tion  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes.  Foleshill  and  Bedivorth,  higher  up  on  the  Sher- 
bourne, carry  on  the  same  branches  of  industry,  besides  which  the  latter  has 
some  collieries.  Nuneaton,  in  the  valley  of  the  Anker,  on  the  northern  slope  of 
the  county,  engages  largely  in  cotton-spinning,  whilst  its  neighbour  Atherstone, 
in  the  same  valley,  in  addition  to  collieries,  carries  on  the  manufacture  of  hats 
and  caps. 


WARWICKSHIRE. 


109 


Birmingham^  the  largest  town  of  Warwickshire,  does  not  lie  within  the  basin 
pf  the  Severn,  for  it  is  built  upon  the  undulating  ground  extending  on  both  sides 
of  the  river  Rea,  a  tributary  of  the  Tame,  which  discharges  its  waters  through 
the  Humber  into  the  German  Ocean.  In  Doomsday  Book  the  city  is  called 
Bermingeham.  This  afterwards  became  corrupted  into  Bromwycham,  or  Brum- 
magem, meaning  the  "town  of  brooms,"  but  popularly  associated  with  pinch- 
beck and  base  metals  fraudulently  used  to  make  articles  glitter  like  gold. 
Birmingham  is  an  ancient  seat  of  the  iron  industry,  and  in  1643,  having 
taken  the  side  of  the  Parliament,  it  supplied  swords  and  other  weapons  which 
did  good  service  against  the  lancers  of  Prince  Rupert.     The  commercial  importance 


Fis-  o9. — Shakspere's  House. 


of  the  town  dates,  however,  only  from  the  restoration  of  Charles  II.,  who  brought 
metal  ornaments  into  fashion,  and  these  Birmingham  supplied  with  unexampled 
vigour.  From  being  the  "  toy-shop  of  Europe  "  of  Burke's  time,  it  has  grown  into 
a  town  pre-eminent  for  every  description  of  metal-ware,  from  steam-engines  to  steel 
pens  and  jewellery.  Its  industry  is  not  exclusively  carried  on  in  huge  factories, 
but  employs  a  multitude  of  artisans  working  at  home,  or  in  small  shops,  and 
they  have  thus  retained  a  spirit  of  initiation  and  independence  not  usually 
found  to  exist  in  manufacturing  towns.  The  leading  articles  made  at  Bir- 
mingham are  hardware,  unequalled  for  variety  and  value ;  tools,  small  arms, 
nails,  pins,   steel   pens,   buttons,   jewellery,    electro-plated  ware,    glass,    bronzes, 


110 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


papier-mache  goods,  and  carriages.  Near  Bandsworth,  a  little  to  the  west  of 
Birminghain,within  the  Staffordshire  border,  are  the  famous  Soho  and  Smethwick 
works,  founded  by  Watt  and  Boulton,  where  steam-engines  were  first  made.  The 
manufacture  of  "toys"  is  still  vigorously  carried  on,  the  most  curious  of  this 
class  of  goods  being  Chinese  idols  and  African  fetishes. 

The  lower  part  of  Birmingham  is  crowded  with  workshops,  and  grimy,  but 
the  upper  has  regular  streets,  and  the  suburbs,  including  Edgbaston  and  Aston 
Manor,  abound  in  elegant  villas  and  stately  residences.     Birmingham  boasts  now 


Fig.  60. — Birmingham. 
Scale  1  :  200.000, 


2  Miles. 


of  being  the  most  "  radical "  town  of  the  kingdom,  and  of  having  the  largest 
number  of  public  institutions  supported  by  voluntary  contributions ;  yet  it  was 
here  that  the  mob  denounced  the  distinguished  Dr.  Priestley  as  an  atheist  and 
Jacobin  (1791),  and  destroyed  his  house,  library,  and  apparatus.  Amends  for 
this  outrage  have  been  made  by  the  erection  of  a  statue  of  the  great  chemist  and 
discoverer  of  oxygen,  which  occupies  a  site  in  front  of  the  municipal  buildings. 
Most  prominent  amongst  the  public  edifices  of  the  town  is  its  Town-hall,  in  which 
the  celebrated  triennial  musical  festivals  are  held,  and  which  contains  a  fine 
marble  bust  of  Mendelssohn,  who  produced  here,  in  1847,  his  oratorio  Elijah 


GLOUCESTERSHIEE. 


Ill 


Its  shape  is  that  of  a  Grecian  temple,  and  it  was  built  1832 — 35.  The  Birmingham 
and  Midland  Institute  adjoins  it,  and  accommodates  a  school  of  science  and  art, 
a  museum,  and  a  free  library.  King  Edward's  Grammar  School,  founded  in  1533, 
occupies  a  Gothic  building  of  modern  date.  Other  educational  institutions 
are  Queen's  College,  founded  in  1843,  in  connection  with  London  University, 
and  the  Science  College,  endowed  by  Joshua  Mason  in  1872.  St.  Martin's  Church, 
in  the  Bull  Ring,  contains  a  few  ancient  monuments,  and  portions  of  it  date  back 
to  the  thirteenth   century.     All   other  churches   are  modern.     Bingley  Hall,   a 


Fig.  61. — The  Severn  below  Gloucester,  and  the  Berkeley  Ship  Canal. 
Scale  1  :  200,000. 


2*20 


W.oP&r 


2  Miles. 


vast  structure  with  no  claims  to  architectural  beauty,  is  used  for  cattle  and  poultry 
shows,  and  as  a  drill-place  for  the  volunteers.  Aston  Hall,  an  edifice  in  the 
Elizabethan  style,  where  Charles  I.  was  entertained  before  the  battle  of  Edge 
Hill,  is  now  a  museum,  and  the  surrounding  park  has  been  thrown  open  to  the 
public.  Still  farther  north,  about  4  miles  from  the  town,  is  the  fine  park  of 
Sutton  Coldfield. 

Gloucestershire  lies  for  the  greater  part  within  the  basin  of  the  Severn,  and 
extends  on  both  sides  of  the  estuary  of  that  river,  in  the  west  as  far  as  the  "Wye, 


112 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


in  the  east  to  the  mouth  of  the  Bristol  Avon.  Physically  the  county  includes 
three  well-marked  regions,  the  principal  being  the  fertile  lowland  intersected  by 
the  Severn,  and  known  as  the  Yale  of  Gloucester  and  Berkeley.  In  it  is  gathered 
the  bulk  of  the  population  of  the  county,  and  tillage  and  dairy-farming  are  practised 
with  great  success.  The  most  valuable  meadow  lands  extend  along  the  banks 
of  the  Severn  below  Gloucester,  and  are  defended  from  inundation  by  sea-walls. 
The  environs  of  Berkeley  are  more  especially  famous  for  their  cheese.  The  vale 
is  remarkable  for  the  mildness  of  its  climate,  and  William  of  Malmesbury  tells  us 
that  in  the  twelfth  century  it  produced  wine  but  little  inferior  to  that  of  France. 
The  forest  district  lies  to  the  west  of  the  Severn,  its  great  feature  being  the 
Royal  Forest  of  Dean,  now  much  reduced  by  the  progress  of  cultivation,  but  still 
of  great  extent.     It  is  rich  in  coal  and  iron,  and  famous  for  its  cider,  or  "  styre." 

Fig.  62.— Gloucester  Cathkukal. 


The  third  region  is  that  of  the  Cotswolds,  to  the  east  of  the  Severn,  where 
the  air  is  keen  and  sharp,  the  soil  thin,  and  the  population  sparse,  but  which 
nevertheless  abounds  in  good  pasturage  for  sheep. 

Gloucestershire  carries  on  numerous  industries,  the  manufacture  of  superior 
cloth  being  the  chief  amongst  them. 

Immediately  after  we  cross  the  borders  of  Shropshire  we  find  ourselves  within 
sight  of  the  old  town  of  Teivkesbury,  with  its  quaint  houses  and  extensive  abbey 
church,  recently  renovated.  About  half  a  mile  to  the  south  of  the  town  lies  the 
"  Bloody  Meadow,"  upon  which  was  fought,  in  1471,  the  last  battle  in  the  War  of 
the  Roses. 

Gloucester,  the  capital  of  the  county,  the  Glevum  of  the  Romans,  is  an  ancient 
city.  The  tower  of  its  superb  cathedral  rises  to  a  height  of  223  feet,  and  there 
are  other  buildings  interesting  to  the  antiquary,  the  most  remarkable  being  the 


GLOUCESTERSHIRE. 


118 


New  Inn,  an  old  house  for  poor  pilgrims,  built  of  chestnut-wood.  The  town 
carries  on  a  considerable  trade  in  agricultural  produce,  for  it  lies  in  the  centre  of 
one  of  the  most  productive  districts  of  England.  By  means  of  the  Berkeley 
Ship  Canal,  which  enters  the  estuary  of  the  Severn  16  miles  below  it  at  Sharp- 
ness, vessels  of  400  tons  burden  can  reach  its  docks.  The  manufacture  of 
agricultural  machinery  is  extensively  carried  on.  Gloucester  has  a  mineral  spring 
in   its    spa    grounds,    now   converted    into   a    public    park,    but    is    completely 

Fig.  63. -The  Cloisters,  Gloccester  Cathedral. 


overshadowed  as  a  watering-place  by  its  more  attractive  neighbour  Cheltenham 
This  favourite  place  of  retreat  of  Anglo-Indians  lies  at  the  foot  of  the  Cotswold 
Hills,  and  on  the  margin  of  the  vale  of  Gloucester.  It  is  renowned  for  its  mild 
and  salubrious  air,  its  delightful  environs,  and  its  chalybeate  springs,  reputed 
as  an  effective  remedy  in  a  variety  of  diseases.  Fine  promenades,  assembly- 
rooms,  and  a  pump-room  add  to  the  amenities  of  a  place  which  boasts  of  having 
a  lower  death  rate  than  any  other  town  in  England.  But,  besides  being  a 
fashionable  watering-place,  Cheltenham  has   become  an  educational  centre,  whose 


114 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


proprietary  colleges,  both  for  boys  and  girls,  take  a  high  rank,  and  are  supplemented 
by  numerous  private  schools. 

Stroud,  to  the  south  of  Gloucester,  in  a  valley  of  the  Cotswolds,  is  one  of  the 
principal  seats  of  the  clothing  trade  of  the  county,  an  industry  which  employs 
likewise  many  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  small  towns  of  Bisley  and  Minchin- 
hampton,  the  one  to  the  east,  the  other  to  the  south-east  of  it.  At  Lypiatt  Park, 
an  old  monastic  establishment,  half-way  on  the  road  to  Bisley,  the  Gunpowder 
Plot  is  said  to  have  been  concocted. 

Berkeley,  in  the  centre  of  a  fertile  grazing  country,  exports  real  Gloucester 
cheese.    Its  castle,  with  a  keep  erected  in  1093,  is  still  inhabited,  and  the  dungeon 

Fig.  64. — Cheltenham. 
Scale  1  :  175,000. 


2  Miles. 


over  the  gatehouse,  in  which  King  Edward  II.  was  murdered  in  1327,  is 
pointed  out  to  curious  visitors.  Dursley  and  JFotton-under-Udge,  both  prettily 
situated  towns  on  the  slope  of  the  Cotswolds,  to  the  south-east  of  Berkeley,  are 
engaged  in  the  clothing  trade.  Near  Dursley  there  are  valuable  quarries  of  Bath 
stone,  which  hardens  on  exposure  to  the  air,  but  is  not  very  durable.  Tetbury, 
still  farther  to  the  east,  on  an  eminence  overlooking  the  source  of  the  Avon,  is 
famous  for  its  corn  market.  Of  the  many  towns  in  the  valley  of  the  Avon,  Malmes- 
bury,  Chippenham,  Melksham,  and  Bradford  belong  to  the  county  of  Wiltshire, 
and  Bath  lies  within  Somersetshire;  but  Bristol,  the  most  important  of  all,  only 
7  miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  river,  is  situated  almost  wholly  within  the  borders 
of  Gloucestershire. 


GLOUCESTERSHIRE.  115 

Bristol  is  one  of  the  busiest  cities  of  the  United  Kingdom.  In  the  fourteenth 
century  it  hardly  yielded  in  importance  to  the  capital,  for  when  Edward  III. 
appealed  to  the  maritime  towns  of  his  kingdom  to  furnish  vessels  for  the  invest- 
ment of  Calais,  Bristol  was  called  upon  to  fit  out  twenty-four,  or  only  one  less  than 
London.  In  the  age  of  great  discoveries  it  was  from  the  Avon  that  most  vessels 
sailed  in  search  of  new  countries  and  a  north-west  passage.  It  was  Bristol  which 
sent  forth  the  Mathias  in  1497,  under  the  command  of  John  Cabot,  a  citizen 
of  Venice,  but  a  Genoese  by  birth ;  *  and  Bristol  may  thus  claim  the  honour  of 
having  sent  out  an  explorer  of  a  portion  of  North  America,  probably  Labrador, 
fourteen  months  before  Columbus  himself  had  touched  the  New  World. f  In 
our  own  century  it  was  again  Bristol  which  was  first  amongst  the  maritime  towns 
of  Europe  to  send  a  steamer  across  the  Atlantic  to  America,  for  in  1838  the  Great 
Western,  commanded  by  Captain  Hosken,  started  from  the  Avon,  and  reached  New 
York  without  an  accident.  Yet  it  is  not  Bristol  which  has  reaped  the  advantages 
which  accrued  from  the  spirit  of  enterprise  animating  its  shipowners,  for 
Liverpool  has  become  the  great  port  of  departure  for  trans- Atlantic  steamers.  The 
relative  decay  of  Bristol,  however,  had  commenced  more  than  a  century  before 
that  time,  and  if  Liverpool  rapidly  overtook  her  rival,  this  was  not  done  without 
the  citizens  themselves  being  largely  to  blame.  In  the  enjoyment  of  almost 
unlimited  privileges,  they  prevented  strangers  from  settling  in  the  town  unless 
they  submitted  to  numerous  disabilities  which  deprived  them  of  every  initiative. 
It  was  thus  that  the  advantages  which  Bristol  enjoyed  in  consequence  of  its 
geographical  position  and  the  relations  established  with  foreign  countries  were 
gradually  lost  to  it.+ 

Bristol  nevertheless  continues  to  this  day  one  of  the  busiest  seaports  of 
England.  The  Avon,  a  narrow  tidal  river  bounded  by  steep  cliffs,  enables  the 
largest  vessels  to  reach  the  docks  of  the  town,  whose  locks  are  closed  as  soon  as 
the  tide  begins  to  retire.  These  docks  were  excavated  in  the  beginning  of  the 
present  century,  and  occupy  the  ancient  bed  of  the  Avon,  as  well  as  the  lower  part 
of  the  Frome,  which  joins  that  river  close  by  the  cathedral.  Although  some 
3  miles  in  length,  this  ''  harbour  "  hardly  suffices  for  the  accommodation  of  the 
vessels  which  crowd  it,  and  sea-docks  have  consequently  been  constructed  at  the 
mouth  of  the  river,  at  Avonmouth,  and  opened  in  1876.  The  trade  of  the  place 
has  always  been  connected  with  the  West  Indies  and  the  North  American  colonies. 
Whilst  the  West  Indies  were  cultivated  by  slaves,  and  Virginia  partly  by  trans- 
ported criminals,  the  wealth  generated  in  Bristol  by  intercourse  between  them 
produced,  on  the  one  hand,  an  upper  class  peculiarly  haughty  and  unsympathetic,  and 
on  the  other  a  mob  exceptionally  rough  and  violent.  In  the  seventeenth  century, 
Mr.  Bancroft  tells  us,  the  Bristol  authorities  used  to  make  large  profits  by  selling 
criminals  as  slaves  to  Virginia,  inducing  them  to  consent  by  threatening  them 
with  death.     In  our  own  days,  the  "Reform  riots"  of  1831,  which  laid  much  of  the 

*  D'Avezac,  Bulletiti  de  la  Societe  de  Geographie. 

t  Peschel,  "Zeitalter  der  Entdeckungen." 

X  Halley,  "Atlas  Maritimus  et  Commercifilis." 


116 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


city  in  ashes,  bear  witness  to  the  roughness  of  the  Bristol  mob.*  The  imports 
include  tobacco  and  raw  sugar  from  the  West  and  East  Indies  and  America, 
timber  from  Norway  and  Canada,  corn  from  Russia,  spirits,  and  wine.  The  exports 
consist  principally  of  the  manufactures  of  the  town,  such  as  refined  sugar,  tobacco 
and  cigars,  metal- ware,  soap,  oil-cloth,  machinery,  and  glass ;  for  though  Bristol 
does  not  hold  the  first  place  in  any  single  branch  of  manufacturing  industry,  it  is 
at  all  events  distinguished  for  the  variety  of  its  productions.  The  coal  seams 
which  underlie  the  basin  of  the  Avon  are  not  very  thick,  but  they  supply  the  manu- 
factories of  the  town  with  excellent  fuel.  The  manufacture  of  cloth,  introduced  by 
Flemish  weavers  in  the  reign  of  Edward  III.,  is  no  longer  carried  on  by  Bristol, 
but  has  been  transferred  to  the  Gloucestershire  towns  to  the  north-east  of  it. 

Fig.  65. — Bristol  and  Bath. 
Scale  1  :  230,000. 


W   c&r     2*20 


,2  Miles. 


Bristol  proper  rises  on  hilly  ground  to  the  north  of  the  Avon,  and,  like  Rome, 
is  supposed  to  have  been  built  upon  seven  hills.  The  suburbs,  however,  spread  far 
beyond  the  ancient  limits  of  the  city.  Bedminster,  to  the  south,  in  the  county  of 
Somerset,  now  forms  part  of  it ;  villas  are  scattered  over  the  heights  which  separate 
it  from  E^orbury  and  Wesfbury-on-Trpm,  in  the  north;  whilst  in  the  west  it  has 
coalesced  with  Clifton,  which  in  the  last  century  was  a  pretty  village  where  the 
merchants  of  Bristol  sought  repose  from  their  labours.  The  airy  heights  which 
were  at  that  time  dotted  over  with  a  few  detached  villas  are  now  covered  with  orna- 
mental buildings  and  rows  of  terraces,  stretching  round  Durdham  Downs,  and 
crowning  the  bold  cliffs  which  here  bound  the  narrow  gorge  of  the  Avon.  Since 
1864  this  gorge  has  been  spanned  by  a  suspension  bridge,  at  a  height  of  287  feet 
*  Moberley,  "  Geography  of  Northern  Europe." 


GLOUCESTERSHIRE— HEREFOEDSHIEE. 


117 


Fig.  66. — Clifton  Suspension  Bkidgb. 


from  low  water.  This  bridge,  the  numerous  villas  of  Clifton,  and  their  shrubberies, 
together  with  the  venerable  cathedral,  the  chaste  Gothic  church  of  St.  Mary 
Kedcliffe,  and  the  lofty  square  tower  of  St.  Stephen's,  built  in  1472,  constitute  the 
principal  attractions  of  the  town.  The  Bristol  Museum  and  several  country  seats 
in  the  vicinity,  including  Leigh  Court  and  Blaise  Castle,  are  rich  in  works  of  art. 
Amongst  the  famous  men  born  in  Bristol  are  William  Penn,  South ey  the  poet, 
Thomas  Lawrence  the  painter,  and  Chatterton.  Bristol  also  disputes  with  Venice 
the  honour  of  being  the  birthplace  of  Sebastian  Cabot. 

There  are  no  towns  of  importance  in  the  hill  district  of  Gloucestershire,  to  the 
west  of  the  Severn.  Newent^  a  market  town  9  miles  north-west  of  Gloucester, 
has  collieries,  and  a  church  with  a  lofty  spire.  TFestburp-on-Severn  is  interest- 
,  ing  to  geologists  on  account  of  the  fish  and  bone  beds  of  its  garden  clifi*. 
Newnham,  on  a  hill  below  Westbury,  exports  the  coal  raised  in  its  vicinity 
and  at  3Iitcheldean,  in  the  interior.  Half-way  between  these  two  places  we  pass  the 
ruins  of  the  ancient  abbey  of  Flaxley,  whose  foundation  dates  back  to  the  twelfth 
century.  Lydneyy  lower  down  on  the 
Severn,  has  iron  and  tin-plate  works,  and 
is  a  coal  shipping  port.  We  are  now  within 
the  manufacturing  and  mining  districts 
of  the  ancient  Forest  of  Dean,  nearly  all 
the  towns  and  villages  of  which  lie  nearer 
to  the  bank  of  the  picturesque  Wye,  which 
bounds  the  county  on  the  west,  than  to 
that  of  the  Severn.  8t.  Briavels,  the 
ancient  capital  of  the  forest,  has  a  castle 
of  the  thirteenth  century,  in  which  the 
Lord  Warden  of  the  forest  used  to  reside. 
Newland  and  Co/eford  are  the  principal 
mining  towns  of  the  forest.  The  Buck- 
stone,  a  famous  rocking-stone  on  a  hill'-slope  overlooking  the  valley  of  the  Wye, 
stands  near  the  former  of  these  towns. 

Cirencester  is  the  principal  town  in  that  part  of  the  county  which  is  drained 
into  the  Thames.  It  is  a  place  of  great  antiquity,  the  Corinium  of  the  Romans, 
and  its  museum  contains  numerous  Roman  antiquities  found  in  the  neighbourhood. 
Cirencester  carries  on  a  large  trade  in  wool  and  corn.  Near  it  stands  the  Royal 
Agricultural  College.  Lechlade,  near  the  confluence  of  the  Colne  and  Lech  with 
the  Thames,  and  at  the  eastern  termination  of  the  Thames  and  Severn  Canal,  is  a 
place  of  some  traffic,  but  the  other  market  towns  in  the  north-eastern  portion  of  the 
county  enjoy  only  local  importance.  The  chief  amongst  them  are  Northleach^ 
Winchcombe,  Chipping  Campdcn,  and  Stoiv-on-the-Wold. 

Herefordshire,  an  inland  county,  has  a  surface  beautifully  diversified  by 
hills,  and  set  off"  to  the  greatest  advantage  by  luxuriant  woods.  The  Wye  inter- 
sects it  from  the  north-west  to  the  south-east,  and  is  joined  about  the  centre  of  the 
county  by  the  Lugg,  draining  its  northern  half.     Agriculture  and  cattle-breeding 


118 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


are  almost  the  sole  occupations,  and  the  county  is  noted  for  its  wool,  its  cider,  and 

its  hops. 

Eereford,  the  county  town,  occupies  a  central  position  on  the  river  Wye,  and 
is  one  of  the  ancient  "  gateways  "  of  Wales,  formerly  strongly  fortified.  Five 
railways  converge  upon  it,  and  its  trade  in  corn,  timber,  and  hops  is  very  con- 
siderable. The  cathedral,  founded  in  the  eleventh  century,  and  restored  by  Sir 
G-.  Scott,  is  one  of  the  most  interesting  buildings  of  that  kind  in  England, 
exhibiting  various  styles  of  architecture,  from  Norman  to  decorated  work.  To 
geographers  more  especially  it  is  interesting,  for  in  its  chapter  library  is  preserved 
one  of  the  most  valuable  maps  of  the  world  which  have  come  to  us  from  the 
Middle  Ages.  M.  d'Avezac,  who  has  carefully  studied  this  curious  document, 
which  transports  monkeys  to  Norway,  scorpions  to  the  banks  of  the  Rhine,  and 
aurochs  to  Provence,  believes  that  it  originated  in  1314,  or  at  all  events  between 

Fig.  67. — Hereford  Cathedral. 


1313  and  1320.  Hereford  has  not  only  played  a  part  in  the  history  of  science, 
but  it  was  likewise  the  birthplace  of  Garrick,  and  there  Mrs.  Siddons  and  Kemble 
commenced  their  dramatic  career. 

Lugwardine,  a  village  to  the  east  of  Hereford,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Lugg, 
has  a  pottery  and  tile  works.  Ascending  the  Lugg,  we  reach  Leominster,  a 
town  very  important  during  the  Heptarchy,  with  a  fine  old  church,  the  remains 
of  a  priory,  and  several  timbered  houses.  Leather  gloves  and  coarse  woollen  stuff's 
are  made  here.  Kington  is  a  market  town  on  the  Arrow,  which  joins  the  Lugg 
from  the  west,  whilst  Bromyard  is  the  principal  town  in  the  valley  of  the  Frome, 
the  eastern  tributary  of  the  Lugg. 

Ross,  on  the  Wye  below  Hereford,  is  a  picturesque  town  much  frequented  by 
tourists,  and  well  known  as  the  birthplace  of  John  Kyrle,  Pope's  "Man  of  Ross," 
who  was  buried  in  the  parish  church  in  1724. 


SOMERSETSHIRE.  119 

A  small  portion  of  the  east  of  the  county  is  drained  by  the  Leddon,  which 
flows  into  the  Severn  at  Gloucester.  Ledbury  is  the  chief  town  on  its  banks, 
and  Eastnor  Castle,  near  it,  contains  a  valuable  collection  of  paintings. 

Somersetshire  is  a  maritime  county,  bounded  on  the  north  and  north-west 
by  the  Bristol  Channel,  and  drained  by  the  Avon  (which  divides  it  from 
Gloucestershire),  the  Axe,  Brue,  and  Parret.  An  oolitic  upland  of  irregular 
configuration  separates  the  county  from  Dorset  and  Wiltshire,  and  coalesces  near 
Bath  with  the  Cotswold  Hills.  Two  spurs  jut  dut  from  this  elevated  tract 
towards  the  Bristol  Channel,  forming  the  Mendip  and  Polden  Hills.  The  former 
are  composed  of  mountain  limestone  and  Devonian  sandstone,  have  steep  sides 
and  flat  tops,  and  contain  veins  of  lead  and  copper,  now  nearly  exhausted. 
They  separate  the  valley  of  the  Avon,  a  portion  of  which  is  occupied  by  the 
Bristol  coal  bed,  from  the  low  marshes  intersected  by  the  river  Brue.  This 
"  Brue  Level  "  contains  peat,  but  parts  of  it  are  of  exceeding  fertility,  and  dairy- 
farming  is  successfully  carried  on  in  it.  The  Polden  Hills  separate  this  lowland 
from  the  more  diversified  valley  of  the  Parret,  which  is  rich  in  pasture-grounds, 
and  yields  an  abundance  of  butter  and  cheese. 

The  western  portion  of  the  county  is  covered  for  the  most  part  with  wild  and 
barren  hills,  abounding  in  bogs  and  moorland ;  but  these  are  intersected  by  the 
rich  and  picturesque  valley  of  Taunton  Deane,  one  of  the  most  fruitful  districts  of 
England.  On  the  norfh  this  "  vale  "  is  sheltered  by  the  Quantock  Hills  (1,270  feet 
high),  the  Brendon  Hills,  and  Exmoor  (Dunkerry  Beacon,  1,706  feet),  which 
separate  it  from  the  Bristol  Channel ;  on  the  south  the  Blackdown  Hills,  crowned 
by  a  monument  erected  in  honour  of  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  divide  it  from 
Devonshire. 

Somersetshire  has  woollen,  silk,  and  other  factories  :  coal  and  a  little  iron  ore 
are  raised,  but  the  wealth  of  the  county  is  principally  produced  by  agriculture, 
dairy-farming,  and  the  rearing  of  cattle  and  sheep.  Cheddar  cheese  is  one  of  the 
most  highly  appreciated  of  its  productions. 

Bath,  the  largest  town  of  Somersetshire,  but  not  its  county  town,  is  situated  in  the 
beautiful  valley  of  the  Avon,  and  on  the  hills  surrounding  it,  only  a  short  distance 
below  the  gorge  which  the  river  runs  through  on  its  course  to  the  plain.  The  fine 
abbey  church,  the  pump-rooms,  the  baths,  and  the  business  part  of  the  city  occupy 
the  valley,  whilst  on  the  hill-slopes  terraces  and  crescents  of  handsome  houses  rise 
tier  above  tier.  We  perceive  at  once  that  we  have  entered  one  of  those  watering- 
places  where  the  number  of  pleasure- seekers  is  greater  than  that  of  the  invalids. 
As  early  as  the  time  of  the  Romans  these  Aquce  Sulis  were  much  frequented,  and 
carved  stones,  showing  Minerva  in  association  with  the  British  divinity  Sulis,  have 
been  discovered.  But  Bath  is  no  longer  the  "  Queen  of  all  the  Spas  in  the  World," 
to  which  position  the  genius  of  two  men.  Wood,  the  architect,  and  "  Beau  "  Nash,  the 
master  of  ceremonies,  had  raised  it  in  the  eighteenth  century.  The  monumental 
buildings  of  that  age  have  a  forsaken  look,  and  fashionable  crowds  no  longer  file 
through  their  colonnades  and  the  grounds  which  surround  them.  Cheltenham, 
Malvern,  and    the  seaside   towns   exercise  a    stronger    attraction    upon    wealthy 


120  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

bathers,  and  now  Bath  has  become  a  place  of  residence  for  retired  men  of 
business  in  the  enjoyment  of  a  moderate  competency.  The  cloth  trade,  for- 
merly of  very  considerable  importance,  exists  no  longer,  and  though  "  Bath " 
paper  still  enjoys  a  high  reputation,  most  of  that  consumed  even  in  the  town  of 
its  reputed  manufacture  is  forwarded  from  London.  Parry,  the  arctic  navigator, 
is  the  most  famous  amongst  the  children  of  Bath,  and  down  to  the  present  day 
his  achievements  can  hardly  be  said  to  have  been  eclipsed.  Herschel,  the  famous 
astronomer,  resided  for  a  considerable  time  at  Bath,  earning  his  living  as  a 
musician,  and  it  was  there  he  began  his  career  as  a  man  of  science. 

Tiverton,  near  Bath,  carries  on  cloth  and  carpet  weaving,  whilst  Keynsham,  lower 
down  on  the  Avon,  has  brass  works  and  lias  clay  diggings.  The  principal  coal  mines 
of  the  county  are  near  Radstock  and  Midsomer  Norton,  to  the  south  of  Bath,  and 
Long  Ashton  and  Nailsea,  to  the  south-west  of  Bristol.  Nailsea,  in  addition, 
carries  on  the  manufacture  of  glass,  and  Ashton  that  of  iron.  But  the  principal 
manufacturing  town  of  the  northern  part  of  Somersetshire  is  Frome,  on  a  tributary 
of  the  Avon,  and  not  far  from  the  Wiltshire  border.  Its  neighbourhood  abounds 
in  cloth-mills,  and  there  are  also  a  card  factory  and  several  breweries.  Portishead, 
Clevedon,  and  Weston-super-Mare  are  watering-places,  and  the  latter,  since  the 
beginning  of  the  century,  has  grown  from  a  small  fishing  village  into  a  town  of 
considerable  importance.  Seated  upon  a  capacious  bay,  with  an  outlook  upon  the 
fortified  islands  at  the  mouth  of  the  estuary  of  the  SevS^n,  facing  the  coast  of 
Wales,  sheltered  by  the  wooded  scarps  of  Worle  Hill  (540  feet),  and  backed  by  a 
fruitful  country  abounding  in  picturesque  scenery,  it  enjoys  peculiar  advantages. 
The  sprat  fishery  is  still  carried  on  here  from  October  to  Christmas,  as  in  days 
of  yore. 

Several  interesting  old  towns  are  seated  at  the  southern  foot  of  the  Mendip 
Hills.  Axhridge  is  a  very  ancient  little  borough,  with  the  population  of  a  village. 
Cheddar  is  no  less  famous  for  its  cheeses  than  for  its  cliffs  and  stalactite  caverns. 
A  lead  mine  is  near  it.  Wells  is  a  town  almost  purely  ecclesiastical,  its  principal 
edifices  being  the  cathedral,  the  bishop's  palace,  and  dependent  buildings.  Brush 
and  paper  making  are  carried  on.  Near  it,  close  to  the. source  of  the  Axe,  which 
bursts  forth  here  a  considerable  stream,  is  a  famous  cavern,  the  legendary  haunt  of 
the  "  Witch  of  Wookey."  Shepton-Mallet  carries  on  trade  with  timber,  and  brews 
an  excellent  ale. 

Glastonbury,  the  principal  town  on  the  river  Brue,  which  enters  the  Bristol 
Channel  below  the  small  port  of  Highbridge,  is  best  known  for  the  ruins  of  its  old 
abbey,  the  most  remarkable  portion  of  which  is  the  "  Abbot's  Kitchen,"  a  building 
reproduced  at  Oxford  and  in  other  towns. 

Bridgn-ater  is  the  principal  town  on  the  Parret.  It  is  situated  12  miles  above 
the  mouth  of  that  river,  on  the  borders  of  a  marshy  plain,  carries  on  a  brisk  coast- 
ing trade,  and  is  the  only  place  in  the  world  where  the  clay  and  sand  deposited  at 
some  localities  on  the  river-side  are  made  into  "  Bath  bricks."  The  most  highly 
prized  Art  treasure  of  this  town  appears  to  be  a  painting  of  the  '*  Descent  from  the 
Cross,"  found  on  board  a  French  privateer,  and  now  suspended  over  the  altar  of 


SOMEESETSHIRE.  121 

the  church  of  St.  Mary  Magdalen.  Sedgemoor,  where  Monmouth  was  defeated 
in  1685,  lies  to  the  east  of  the  town.  Ascending  the  Parret,  we  reach  Langporf, 
just  below  its  confluence  with  the  Isle  and  Yeo,  or  Ivel.  The  latter  runs  through 
a  fertile  valley,  the  chief  towns  of  which  are  Ilchester,  the  Ischalis  of  the  Romans, 
and  the  birthplace  of  Roger  Bacon,  and  Yeovil,  a  picturesque  old  place,  with  a 
noble  church,  where  gloves  are  largely  made.  The  towns  on  the  Upper  Parret  are 
South  Petherton,  near  which  are  the  famous  Hamden  or  Hamhill  quarries,  and 
Crewherne^  with  a  handsome  church  and  grammar  school.  Ilminster  and  Chard, 
both  on  the  Isle,  engage  in  lace-making.  The  latter  is  a  handsome  town,  at  the 
foot  of  the  Blackdowns. 

Taunton,  the  county  town,  on  the  Tone,  is  a  place  of  considerable  antiquity, 
with  one  of  the  finest  perpendicular  churches  in  the  country,  and  a  grammar 
school,  founded  in  1522  by  Bishop  Fox.  There  are  two  silk  factories,  the  manu- 
facture of  silk  having  superseded  that  of  wool  since  1778,  and  a  glove  factory. 
The  castle  forms  an  object  of  considerable  interest.  Its  hall,  where  Judge  Jeffreys 
held  his  *'  Bloody  Assize,"  now  affords  accommodation  to  the  museum  of  the 
Somersetshire  Archaeological  and  Natural  History  Society.  Wellington,  on  the 
Upper  Tone,  and  at  the  northern  foot  of  the  Blackdowns,  still  engages  in  the 
woollen  trade.  It  has  given  a  title  to  the  Great  Duke,  in  whose  honour  a  stone 
obelisk  has  been  raised  on  a  neighbouring  height. 

There  remain  to  be  noticed  a  few  small  towns  on  the  coast  of  the  Bristol 
Channel  and  to  the  west  of  the  Parret.  They  are  small  in  population,  but 
interesting  on  account  of  their  antiquity.  Watchet  exports  the  iron  ore  raised  in 
the  Brendon  Hills.  Near  it  are  the  ruins  of  Cleeve  Abbey,  founded  in  1188  for 
Cistercian  monks.  Dunster  has  a  famous  old  castle  ;  Minehead  is  a  quiet  watering- 
place  ;  and  Porlock  is  a  picturesque  village  at  the  foot  of  Dunkerry  Beacon. 


105- 


CHAPTER  V. 


1 

^^$ 

THE  CHANNEL  SLOPE. 
Dorsetshire,  Wiltshire,  Hampshire,  and  Sussex. 

General  Features. 

HE  region  which,  to  the  east  of  the  Cornish  peninsula,  slopes  down 
to  the  Channel,  is  of  considerable  width  only  in  its  western  portion, 
where  the  Avon  of  Salisbury  rises  on  the  chalk  downs  of  Wilt- 
shire. Here  its  width  is  no  less  than  50  miles,  but  it  narrows 
as  we  proceed  eastwards.  The  rivers  become  rivulets,  and,  on 
reaching  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Straits  of  Dover,  there  are  merely  combs  down 
which  the  water  runs  on  the  surface  only  after  heavy  rains.  This  region,  never- 
theless, is  characterized  by  special  features,  due  to  its  southern  aspect,  its  deficiency 
in  navigable  rivers,  and  its  geological  formation.  In  the  latter  respect  some 
portions  of  it  bear  a  greater  resemblance  to  France,  from  which  it  is  now 
separated  by  the  sea,  than  to  the  remainder  of  England,  of  which  it  actually 
forms  part.  The  English  Weald  and  the  French  Boulonnais,  or  country  around 
Boulogne,  are  thus  clearly  the  fragments  of  what  was  anciently  a  continuous  tract 
of  land,  whose  severance  has  been  effected  by  the  erosive  action  of  the  sea. 

The  calcareous  uplands  which  to  the  east  of  Devonshire  form  the  watershed 
between  the  Bristol  and  English  Channels  are  generally  known  as  the  Dorset 
Heights.  They  are  of  moderate  elevation,  none  of  the  summits  attaining  a  height 
of  1,000  feet,  but  form  bold  cliffs  along  the  coast.  To  geologists  they  have  proved 
a  fertile  field  of  exploration,  for  they  exhibit  very  clearly  the  superposition  of 
various  strata.  The  quarries  of  Lyme  Regis  have  more  especially  acquired 
celebrity  on  account  of  the  ichthyosaurians  and  other  gigantic  reptiles  of  liassic 
age  which  they  have  yielded.  They  are  well  known  likewise  to  agriculturists, 
for  the  coprolite,  or  fossilised  guano,  in  which  they  abound  contains  a  large 
quantity  of  phosphoric  acid,  and  furnishes  a  most  powerful  fertiliser. 

The  liassic  rocks  of  Lyme  Regis  are  succeeded  in  the  east  by  oolite  cliffs,  which 
terminate  in  the  Bill  of  Portland,  right  out  in  the  open  sea.  The  so-called  Isle 
of  Portland  is  in  reality  a  peninsula  rising  superbly  above  a  submarine  plateau, 


THE  CHANNEL  SLOPE. 


123 


where  conflicting  tides  render  navigation  dangerous,  and  attached  to  the  main- 
land by  a  narrow  strip  of  beach.  Eooted  to  the  base  of  the  clifi"  crowned  by 
Burton  Castle,  this  beach  extends  along  the  coast,  growing  wider  by  degrees  as 
we  follow  it  to  the  south-eastward,  and  forming  a  gentle  curve,  the  con- 
cave  side   of   which  is    turned  towards    the   sea.      It  is  known  as    Chesil  or 


Fig.  68.— Portland. 
Scale  1  :  225,000. 


2°30- 


2-20' 


W.oFGr. 


Foresiiore. 


Miles. 


"Pebble"  Bank,  and  hides  all  the  irregularities  of  the  inner  coast-line.  The 
old  inlets  and  creeks  in  its  rear  have  gradually  been  converted  into  swamps,  or 
silted  up  by  the  alluvium  washed  into  them  by  the  rivers,  and  only  for  a  distance 
of  8  miles  along  the  coast  of  Dorsetshire  is  it  separated  from  the  mainland  by 
a  narrow  channel  which  debouches  into  Portland  Roads,  and  is  known  as  the 
Fleet.      But  it    is  not  only  this   striking  regularity  of   contour  which    distin- 


124  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

guishes  this  beach  ;  it  is  equally  regular  with  respect  to  the  arrangement  of  the 
materials  of  which  it  is  composed.  Its  pebbles  increase  in  size  as  we  proceed 
from  west  to  east.  The  sand  in  the  west  almost  imperceptibly  passes  over  into 
pebbles,  and  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Isle  of  Portland  these  latter  give  place  to 
shingle.  The  fishermen  along  the  coast  will  inform  you  that  when  they  land  on  a 
dark  night  on  any  part  of  the  beach  they  can  tell,  from  the  size  of  the  pebbles,  at 
what  spot  they  find  themselves.  The  true  explanation  of  the  phenomenon  is 
this  :  the  tidal  current  runs  strongest  from  west  to  east,  and  its  power  is  greater  in 
the  more  open  channel,  or  farthest  from  the  land,  while  the  size  of  the  fragments 
which  are  carried  to  the  east  and  thrown  ashore  is  largest  where  the  motion  of 
the  water  is  most  violent.* 

To  geologists  the  Isle  of  Portland  offers  a  peculiarly  interesting  field  of 
research,  for  it  is  rich  in  dirt  beds  containing  organic  relics  of  marine  origin, 
and  still  exhibits  the  fossilised  remains  of  a  forest  which  flourished  on  the 
emerged  oolite  rocks.  It  is  probable  that  not  a  single  one  of  these  fossils  will 
escape  the  notice  of  man,  for  few  rocks  are  being  more  extensively  utilised. 
The  upper  layers  are  being  carried  away  to  be  converted  into  lime,  whilst  the 
lower  beds  supply  a  highly  valued  building  stone,  which  has  been  largely  used 
for  some  of  the  monumental  edifices  of  London.  In  recent  times  most  of  the  stone 
quarried  on  the  ''island"  has  been  employed  in  the  construction  of  a  breakwater 
planned  towards  the  close  of  the  last  century,  but  only  commenced  in  1847,  mainly 
with  the  view  of  opposing  to  the  French  Cherbourg  an  English  Cherbourg  of  even 
greater  strength.  This  prodigious  breakwater  is  the  largest  work  of  the  kind  ever 
undertaken,  for  nearly  6,000,000  tons  of  stone  have  been  sunk  in  the  sea  to  protect 
against  winds  and  waves  an  artificial  harbour  having  an  area  of  2,107  acres,  where 
the  largest  men-of-war  find  secure  riding- ground.  The  first  portion  of  the  break- 
water runs  from  the  shore  due  east  for  about  1,800  feet,  and  serves  the  inha- 
bitants of  the  island  as  a  promenade.  Then  comes  an  opening  of  400  feet,  beyond 
which  the  main  section  stretches  6,000  feet  in  length,  terminating  in  an  ironclad 
fort  armed  with  the  heaviest  guns.  The  summit  of  Yerne  Hill  (495  feet)  is  crowned 
by  impregnable  fortifications,  armed  with  one  hundred  and  fifty  cannon,  and  this 
citadel,  supported  by  numerous  batteries,  by  a  fort  on  Nothe  Hill,  near  Weymouth, 
and  by  two  ironclad  forts  on  the  breakwater  itself,  amply  provides  for  the  security 
of  the  harbour.  Breakwaters  and  forts  alike  have  been  constructed  by  convicts,  and 
this  colossal  work  of  modern  England,  like  similar  undertakings  of  ancient  Egypt 
and  Rome,  has  thus  been  accomplished  by  the  hands  of  slaves. f 

But  though  man  may  modify  the  aspects  of  nature  by  converting  an  open 
bay  into  a  secure  harbour,  what  are  his  feeble  efforts  of  a  day  in  comparison  with 
the  slow,  but  incessant  erosive  action  of  a  single  geological  period  ?  Beyond  the 
island  of  Portland  and  the  oolitic  rocks  of  the  littoral  region,  the  cretaceous 
formation   extends   uninterruptedly   as    far   as   Salisbury  Plain.      That ''plain" 

♦  Lyell,  "  Principles  of  Geology."  Prestwich,  at  the  Institution  of  Civil  Engineers,  February  2nd, 
1875.     Kinahan,  Quarterly  Journal  of  the  Geological  Society,  February  1st,  1877. 

t  The  work  occupied  about  a  thousand  convicts  between  1847  and  1872,  and  cost  £1,043,000. 


THE  CHANNEL  SLOPE.  125 

is  in  reality  a  chalky  table-land,  rising  now  and  then  into  gently  swelling 
hills,  and  intersected  by  narrow  and  picturesque  valleys.  In  its  general  features 
this  tract  of  country  presents  an  appearance  of  uniformity  and  repose,  and 
we  might  almost  fancy  that  for  ages  it  had  undergone  no  change.  But 
geologists  have  here  discovered  the  remnants  of  enormous  strata,  which  have 
been  gradually  dissolved  by  water,  and  transported  seaward.  Extensive  tracts 
of  chalk  are  covered  with  a  layer  of  pebbles  more  than  a  yard  in  depth,  and  these 
pebbles  are  all  that  remains  of  tbick  strata  ofcalcarebus  rocks,  the  soluble  portions 
of  which  have  been  washed  away.*  Elsewhere  the  ground  is  covered  with 
scattered  rocks,  fragments  of  eocene  hills  destroyed  through  long-continued  erosive 
action.  These  rocks,  on  account  of  their  colour  and  appearance  when  seen  from 
afar,  are  usually  known  as  "  grey  wethers,"  but  sometimes  they  are  improperly 
described  as  "Druids'  stones,"  because  they  furnished  the  material  employed 
in  the  construction  of  Stonehenge.  Towards  the  middle  of  the  century  these 
scattered  rocks  and  the  monuments  raised  by  the  aboriginal  inhabitants  were  the 
only  objects  which,  away  from  the  towns  and  villages,  contrasted  with  the  uniform 
verdure  of  the  pastures.  Recently,  however,  this  ''plain,"  which  was  formerly 
roamed  over  only  by  sheep,  has  been  invaded  on  all  sides  by  the  plough,  and  a 
considerable  portion  of  it  is  now  under  tillage. 

The  zone  of  cretaceous  rocks,  of  which  the  plain  of  Salisbury  forms  a  part, 
bounds  in  the  north  a  basin  occupied  by  eocene  formations,  which  stretches  for  60 
miles  along  the  English  Channel.  Anciently  this  basin  extended  far  beyond  the 
actual  line  of  coast.  The  whole  of  the  northern  portion  of  the  Isle  of  Wight  was 
included  in  it.  The  Celtic  name  of  that  island,  Giiith,  is  supposed  to  mean 
"  severed,"  and  an  examination  of  its  coast-line  shows  very  clearly  that  it  originally 
formed  part  of  the  mainland.  The  coasts  of  the  island  run  nearly  parallel  to 
those  of  the  mainland  from  which  it  has  been  cut  off.  The  strait  of  the  Solent 
on  the  west,  and  that  of  Spithead  on  the  east,  are  bounded  by  coasts  having 
the  same  inflections,  and  the  Isle  of  Wight  almost  looks  as  if  it  were  a  fragment 
detacbed  from  England,  and  bodily  shifted  to  the  south.  But  though  the  eocene 
rocks  to  the  north  of  the  island  have  disappeared,  and  their  place  has  been 
invaded  by  the  sea,  the  cretaceous  rocks  which  form  its  spine,  and  anciently 
extended  to  the  cliffs  of  Purbeck,  have  offered  a  stouter  resistance  to  erosive 
action.  In  the  interior  of  the  island  they  have  been  dissolved  in  many  places 
by  running  water,  and  wide  gaps  resembling  breaches  in  a  rampart  open  between 
the  hills,  but  the  extremities  of  the  rhomboid  terminate  abruptly  in  cliffs. 
The  western  promontory  rises  almost  vertically  to  a  height  of  450  feet,  and  off 
it  there  stand  above  the  glaucous  waters  of  the  sea,  not  unlike  a  flotilla  of 
vessels  under  sail,  a  few  masses  of  detached  chalk,  known  as  the  *'  Needles." 
These  rocks  are  exposed  to  the  full  fury  of  the  gales,  and  from  time  to  time  they 
yield  to  the  pressure  and  are  broken  into  fragments.  A  remarkable  case  of  this 
kind  occurred  during  a  violent  storm  in  1764,  when  a  rock  known  as  "  Lot's 
Wife"  disappeared  beneath  the  foaming  waves.  In  geological  structure  these 
*  Eamsay,  "Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Great  Britain." 


126 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


superb  rocks  resemble  the  cliffs  of  Purbeck,  about  15  miles  due  west  of  tbem. 
Their  image  impresses  itself  firmly  on  the  minds  of  many  emigrants,  and  thousands 
amongst  them,  when  these  objects  vanish  from  their  sight,  have  looked  upon  Europe 
for  the  last  time  in  their  lives.  The  southern  portion  of  the  Isle  of  Wight  is  one 
of  the  most  picturesque  districts  in  England.  St.  Catherine's  Down,  the  most 
elevated  summit  of  the  island,  rises  near  its  southern  angle  to  a  height  of  830 
feet,  and  commands  an  immense  horizon,  extending  from  Portland  Bill  to  Beachy 
Head,  and  sometimes  even  beyond  the  Channel  with  its  numerous  ships,  to  the 

Fig.  69.— The  Isle  op  Wight. 
Scale  1  :  420,000. 


Depth  under  5  Fathoms.         5  to  10  Fathoms. 


10  to  20  Fathoms. 


Over  20  Fathoms. 


5  Miles. 


hazy  promontories  of  Cotentin,  in  France.  To  the  east  of  this  angular  landmark 
the  coast  sinks  abruptly,  but  along  its  foot  there  extends  a  singular  strip,  or 
terrace,  of  considerable  width,  which  has  fallen  down  from  the  upper  part  of  the 
cliff,  and  is  hence  known  as  the  TJndercliff.  This  tract  is  perfectly  sheltered  from 
northerly  winds ;  myrtles,  geraniums,  and  other  delicate  plants  flourish  there 
throughout  the  winter ;  and  Yentnor  and  other  places  of  less  note  afford  accom- 
modation to  invalids  whose  state  of  health  requires  a  milder  climate  than  is  to  be 
found  in  other  parts  of  England.*  The  nature  of  the  soil  sufficiently  accounts 
for  the  existence  of  this  TJndercliff.  The  subjacent  beds,  consisting  of  sand 
*  James  Thome,  "  The  Land  we  Live  in." 


THE  CHANNEL  SLOPE.  127 

and  clay,  were  undermined  by  tlie  action  of  the  rain,  and  the  superincumbent 
masses  of  rock  were  precipitated  upon  the  beach  below,  where  they  now  act  as  a 
kind  of  embankment  protecting  the  remaining  cliff  from  the  attacks  of  the  sea. 
Some  of  these  landslips  occurred  almost  in  our  own  time.  In  1799  a  farm,  with 
about  100  acres  of  the  surrounding  land,  slid  down  upon  the  beach,  and  more 
recently  still,  in  1810  and  1818,  other  cliffs  broke  away  in  a  similar  manner.  The 
narrow  ravines  worn  into  the  rocks  by  running  water  are  locally  known  as  *'  chines." 
Formerly  they  could  only  be  explored  with  great  diffichlty,  but  steps  and  easy  paths 
have  been  made  to  facilitate  the  progress  of  visitors  in  search  of  fine  scenery. 

The  Isle  of  Wight,  though  scarcely  more  than  half  the  size  of  Anglesey,*  has 
played  a  more  considerable  part  in  the  modern  history  of  England.  Unlike  the 
Welsh  island,  it  is  not  joined  by  bridges  to  the  mainland,  the  dividing  channel 
being  too  wide  and  too  deep.f  A  tunnel,  about  4  miles  in  length,  has,  however, 
been  projected,  and  some  preliminary  surveys,  with  a  view  to  its  construction, 
have  actually  been  made.  But  though  the  channel  which  separates  the  island  from 
the  mainland  cannot  yet  be  crossed  dry  shod,  like  Menai  Strait,  there  are  few  locali- 
ties more  crowded  with  shipping.  It  forms  a  vast  roadstead,  fairly  sheltered  from 
most  winds,  and  ramifies  northward  into  the  interior  of  Hampshire.  This  northern 
extension  of  the  road  of  Spithead  is  known  as  Southampton  Water,  from  the 
great  outport  of  London  which  rises  near  its  extremity,  and  which  is  exceptionally 
favoured  by  the  tide  ;  for  whilst  one  tidal  wave  penetrates  it  through  the 
Solent,  another  arrives  soon  after  through  the  channel  of  Spithead,  sustaining  the 
first,  and  extending  the  time  of  high  water.  But  the  commercial  town  of  South- 
ampton is  not  the  only  place  that  has  profited  by  the  excellent  shelter  afforded  by 
the  Isle  of  Wight;  the  advantages  of  the  position  are  also  shared  by  the  naval 
station  of  Portsmouth.  This  great  stronghold  has  been  constructed  on  the  flat 
island  of  Portsea,  at  the  entrance  to  the  waters  of  Spithead. 

The  road  of  Spithead,  Southampton  Water,  and  the  towns  which  have  arisen 
upon  them,  render  this  portion  of  the  English  sea-coast  of  considerable  importance, 
and  jointly  with  the  beauty  of  the  scenery  and  the  mild  climate,  they  have 
attracted  to  it  a  large  business  or  pleasure- seeking  population.  Nevertheless,  a 
wide  tract  of  country,  stretching  from  Southampton  Water  westward  to  the  Avon 
of  Salisbury,  is  still  occupied  by  a  deer  forest,  and  very  sparsely  peopled.  This 
"New  Forest"  covers  an  area  of  60,000  acres,  and  if  ancient  chronicles  can  be 
believed,  it  was  planted  by  William  the  Conqueror,  as  a  wild-boar  and  deer 
preserve  and  hunting  ground.  He  is  stated  to  have  destroyed  twenty  villages, 
turning  out  the  inhabitants  and  laying  waste  their  fields.  But  owing  to  the 
poor  nature  of  the  gravel  and  sand  of  this  tract,  it  is  not  likely  that  it  was  ever 
worth  tilling.  Eight  hundred  years  ago  there  may  have  been  more  clearings 
and  groups  of  houses,  but  we  may  well  doubt  whether  so  ungrateful  a  soil  can 
ever  have  been  extensively  cultivated.  + 

*  Anglesey,  302  square  miles ;  Isle  of  Wight,  155  square  miles. 

t  Least  width,  9,200  feet;  depth  at  the  mouth  of  the  Solent,  72  feet. 

X  Eamsay,  "  Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Great  Britain." 


128 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


To  the  east  of  the  flat  islands  of  Portsea  and  Hayling,  and  of  the  low  peninsula 
terminating  in  Selsey  Bill,  the  coast  gradually  approaches  the  range  of  cretaceous 
hills  known  as  the  South  Downs.  Beyond  Brighton  clifis  once  more  bound  the 
encroaching  sea,  until  the  downs  terminate  abruptly  in  the  bold  promontory  of 
Beachy  Head.     The  short  and  savory  herbage  of  the  South  Downs  feeds  a  race  of 

Fig.  70. — Portsmouth. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chart. 


5^ 


$tmi'k$«a'  £ait^ 


sheep  highly  appreciated  for  their  mutton.  Now  these  downs  only  present'  us  with 
scenes  of  rural  peace,  but,  to  judge  from  the  fortifications  which  crown  nearly  every 
point  of  vantage,  there  must  have  been  a  time  when  the  country  was  the  scene  of 
almost  incessant  wars.  The  most  famous  of  these  entrenchments  is  the  Poor  Man's 
Dyke,  on  a  commanding  height  to  the  north  of  Brighton,  which  in  a  more  super- 
stitious age  was  looked  upon  as  a  work  of  the  devil. 

The  South  and  North  Downs  enclose  between  them  the  triangular  Weald  valley, 


THE  CHANNEL  SLOPE. 


129 


upon  whose  denuded  surface  are  exposed  rocks  of  mere  ancient  date  than  the  chalk 
of  the  surrounding  downs.  When  the  Normans  invaded  England,  the  Forest,  or 
"Weald,"  of  Andred,  or  Andredes,  still  covered  the  whole  of  this  region,  but  the  trees 
have  been  cut  down  and  converted  into  charcoal,  and  consumed  in  the  smelting  fur- 
naces erected  near  iron  pits  which  have  long  since  been  abandoned  as  unprofitable. 
The  clays,  sands,  and  limestones  of  this  district  were  in  all  probability  deposited  in 
the  delta  of  some  river  equal  in  volume  to  the  Ganges  or  Mississippi.  Its  hardened 
alluvium  contains  in  prodigious  quantities  the  debris  of  terrestrial  plants,  marsupials, 
terrestrial  reptiles  and  amphibiae,  mixed  with  the  remains  of  fishes,  turtles,  and  fresh- 
water shells.     It  was  to  the  south  of  this  ancient  delta,  in  Tilgate  Forest,  near 

Fig.  71.— Beach Y  Head. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chart. 


'3  13         ^  13 


Lewes,  that  Dr.  Mantell  discovered  the  first  skeleton  of  the  gigantic  Iguanodon,  an 
herbivorous  land  reptile. 

The  range  of  the  Northern  Downs  which  separates  the  Weald  from  the  valley 
of  the  Thames  terminates  in  the  east  with  the  cliffs  of  Folkestone  and  Dover,  but  is 
continued  on  the  other  side  of  the  strait  in  the  hills  to  the  east  of  Calais.  All 
that  part  of  England  is  being  encroached  upon  by  the  sea,  which  is  constantly 
undermining  the  cliffs.  In  many  parts  the  footpath  which  conducts  along  their 
summit  terminates  abruptly  in  front  of  a  newly  formed  precipice,  and  the  traveller 
desirous  of  passing  beyond  is  compelled  to  strike  out  for  himself  a  new  path 
through  the  herbage,  farther  away  from  its  edge.     It  is  more  especially  the  cliffs 


130 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


on  the  Straits  of  Dover  whicli  are  exposed  to  this  waste,  and  Shakspere's  Cliff,  since 
the  day  Julius  Ceesar  set  his  foot  upon  the  shore  of  England,  is  supposed  to  have 
receded  no  less  than  a  mile  and  a  half.*  Old  chronicles  tell  us  of  fearful  landslips, 
which  shook  the  town  of  Dover,  and  caused  the  country  for  miles  around  it  to 
vibrate.  A  railway  tunnel  passes  through  one  of  these  cliffs,  and  it  was  found 
advisable  to  secure  the  cliff'  from  further  encroachments  by  precipitating  its  summit 
into  the  sea,  so  as  to  form  a  kind  of  breakwater.  By  the  blasting  operations  carried 
on  with  this  view,  a  huge  mass  of  rock,  of  a  presumed  weight  of  a  million  tons,  was 


Fig.  72.— RoMNEY  Marsh. 
Scale  1  :  350,500. 


Depth  over 
5  Fathoms* 
5  Miles. 


detached,  and,  falling  into  the  sea,  formed  a  bank  with  an  area  of  about  20  acres, 
upon  which  the  waves  now  spend  their  force. 

But  whilst  the  sea  is  busily  demolishing  the  cliffs  of  Dover  and  Hastings,  it 
has  gradually  silted  up  the  intervening  level  tract.  The  triangular  plain  thus 
formed  juts  out  beyond  the  general  line  of  the  coast,  and  terminates  in  Dungeness. 
Nowhere  else  is  it  possible  to  meet  with  a  more  striking  illustration  of  the  influence 
which  the  strength  and  direction  of  the  tides  exercise  upon  the  formation  of  a 
coast-line.  This  Romney  level,  named  after  a  town  in  its  centre,  would  never 
have  been  formed  if  the  English  Channel  and  the  North  Sea  were  not  placed  in 
*  Beete  Jukes,  **  School  Manual  of  Geology." 


DOESETSHIRE.  131 

communication  by  the  Straits  of  Dover.  It  owes  its  existence  to  the  fact  that  at 
this  spot  the  tidal  wave  proceeding  from  the  Atlantic  is  met  and  stopped  by 
another  tidal  wave,  propagated  from  the  North  Sea.  The  waste  of  the  cliffs  of 
Hastings,  held  in  suspension  by  the  water,  cannot,  consequently,  pass  beyond  this 
point,  where  opposite  tides  neutralise  each  other,  and  it  is  therefore  deposited 
along  the  coast  of  the  Eomney  Marsh,  which  is  thus  continually  increasing  in 
extent.  Dungeness,  its  extreme  point,  is  supposed  to  advance  annually  about 
5  feet  into  the  sea. 

Agriculture  and  sheep  farming  are  the  principal  occupations  in  that  part  of 
England  which  extends  from  Cornwall  to  the  Straits  of  Dover.  There  are  no  really 
large  towns  besides  Southampton,  Portsmouth,  and  Brighton,  and  these  only  flourish 
because  in  one  way  or  other  they  are  dependencies  and  outposts  of  London. 
Reduced  to  their  own  resources,  they  would  soon  sink  to  a  secondary  rank. 

Topography. 

Dorsetshire  is  a  maritime  county,  pleasantly  diversified,  and  in  the  enjoyment 
of  a  dry  and  salubrious  climate.  A  considerable  portion  of  its  area  is  occupied  by 
chalky  downs,  which  extend  from  the  coast  at  Lyme  Regis  to  Cranborne  Chase,  a 
wooded  tract  on  the  border  of  Wiltshire,  and  attain  their  greatest  height  (910  feet) 
in  Pillesdon  Pen,  to  the  west  of  Beaminster.  Lesser  ranges  extend  along  the 
sea- coast,  and  end  in  the  isles,  or  rather  peninsulas,  of  Portland  and  Purbeck. 
The  chief  rivers  are  the  Frome  and  the  Stour.  The  former  enters  Poole  Harbour  ; 
the  latter  traverses  the  fruitful  vale  of  Blackmore,  and  finally  passes  into 
Hampshire,  where  it  joins  the  Avon.  The  so-called  Trough  of  Poole  is  a  low-lying 
district  around  Poole  Harbour,  abounding  in  peaty  mosses.  Agriculture  and  dairy- 
farming  are  the  principal  industries. 

Lyme  Regis,  close  to  the  Devonshire  border,  romantically  seated  in  a  deep 
comb  opening  out  upon  the  sea  between  cliffs  of  forbidding  aspect,  is  a  favourite 
watering-place.  The  neighbouring  village  of  Charmouth  has  its  Undercliff,  like 
Yentnor,  in  the  Isle  of  Wight,  and  there  are  other  landslips  in  its  neighbourhood. 

Bridporty  2  miles  above  the  small  harbour  formed  by  the  river  Brit,  is 
an  ancient  but  somewhat  decayed  town,  where  flax-spinning  and  ship-building 
are  carried  on.  Higher  up  the  beautiful  and  fertile  valley  of  the  Brit,  in  the 
midst  of  the  hills,  there  stands  the  small  market  town  of  Beaminster. 

Chesil  Bank,  which  connects  the  mainland  with  the  Isle  of  Portland,  commences 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Brit.  Portland,  with  its  fortifications,  its  convict  prison, 
quarries,  and  magnificent  breakwater,  has  already  been  referred  to  (see  p.  122). 
On  the  western  side  of  the  capacious  bay,  now  protected  by  this  great  work  of 
engineering  skill,  Weymouth  is  seated,  with  its  aristocratic  suburb  of  Me Icombe  Regis. 
Like  Bridport,  it  has  had  its  period  of  decay,  but  its  beach,  so  well  adapted  for 
sea-bathing,  the  beauty  of  the  surrounding  country,  and  the  advantages  conferred 
upon  it  by  its  well-sheltered  harbour  could  hardly  fail  of  once  more  restoring  it  to 
prosperity. 


132  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

Dorchester,  the  county  town,  on  the  Frome,  was  anciently  known  by  the  Celtic 
name  of  Durnovaria,  and  after  the  invasion  of  the  Romans  it  was  fortified  by  them. 
It  is  a  quiet,  prosperous  place,  its  most  remarkable  building  being  the  pinnacled 
tower  of  the  church  at  the  point  of  intersection  of  its  four  streets.  In  its 
neighbourhood  there  exists  the  most  perfect  Roman  amphitheatre  in  England. 
It  is  known  as  Mambury,  and  is  in  so  fair  a  state  of  preservation  for  open-air 
performances  that  a  witch  was  burnt  in  its  centre  as  recently  as  1705,  when  a 
large  crowd  attended  the  spectacle.  Flowing  past  the  ancient  town  otWareham, 
and  its  magnificent  earthworks,  which  have  resisted  the  onset  of  many  a  Danish 
attack,  the  Frome  enters  the  shallow  harbour  of  Poole,  which  is  the  principal 
seaport  of  the  county,  foremost  amongst  its  exports  being  potter's  clay,  from  the 
neighbouring  isle  of  Purbeck,  and  pitwood.  Ship-building  is  carried  on,  oysters 
are  bred,  and  there  are  a  few  potteries  in  the  neighbourhood.  The  Isle  of  Purbeck, 
on  the  southern  side  of  Poole  Harbour,  must  ever  form  a  focus  of  attraction  to 
geologists,  who  will  find  in  the  museum  of  the  small  but  ancient  village  of  Corfe 
Castle  a  collection  of  the  most  interesting  fossils  yielded  by  the  district.  Kim- 
meridge  is  a  village  well  known  to  geologists  on  account  of  its  clay,  but  the  chief 
place  of  the  isle  is  Swanage,  a  favourite  watering-place  in  summer,  because  it  is 
exposed  to  the  cooling  breeze  from  the  north-east. 

The  Stour,  in  its  course  through  the  county,  runs  past  Blandford  Forum  and 
Wimhorne,  the  latter  famous  for  its  minster,  a  building  of  singular  beauty.  At 
Kingston  Lacy,  2  miles  to  the  north-west  of  the  town,  there  stands  an  obelisk 
brought  thither  from  the  island  of  Philae.  Shaftesbury,  traditionally  one  of  the 
oldest  towns  in  the  kingdom,  where  King  Alfred  founded  a  nunnery  in  880 
for  one  of  his  daughters,  stands  on  the  margin  of  the  fruitful  vale  of  Blackmore. 

Sherborne  is  the  only  town  of  the  county  which  lies  beyond  the  Channel  basin. 
It  is  seated  on  the  river  Yeo,  which  finds  its  way  into  the  Bristol  Channel.  It  was 
a  bishopric  until  1058,  and  still  boasts  a  fine  cathedral  to  remind  it  of  its  days 
of  grandeur,  a  famous  grammar  school,  and  several  curious  old  dwelling-houses. 
Glove-making  is  carried  on  both  here  and  in  the  neighbouring  town  of  Yeovil,  in 
Somersetshire. 

Wiltshire  is  an  inland  county,  which  lies  only  partly  within  the  basin  of  the 
English  Channel.  Its  southern  and  more  extensive  portion  forms  the  so-called  plain 
of  Salisbury,  an  undulating  chalky  table-land,  drained  by  the  river  Avon  and  its 
tributaries,  and  lying  at  an  elevation  of  about  500  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea. 
The  northern  escarpment  of  this  table-land  looks  down  upon  the  vale  of  Pewsey, 
the  most  fertile  tract  of  the  county,  on  greensand,  and  bounded  on  the  north 
by  the  Marlborough  Downs,  a  treeless  tract  of  chalk  hills,  presenting  features 
similar  to  those  of  Salisbury  Plain.  The  north-western  part  lies  within  the  basin 
of  the  Severn,  and  is  drained  by  the  Bristol  Avon  ;  the  north-eastern  part  belongs 
to  the  basin  of  the  Thames.  Foremost  amongst  the  productions  of  Wiltshire  are 
cheese,  bacon,  and  mutton,  and  the  manufacture  of  cloth  is  extensively  carried  on  in 
the  valley  of  the  Bristol  Avon.  Some  iron  ore  is  raised  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Westbury  and  Melksham. 


WILTSHIRE. 


133 


Salishury,  the  county  town,  is  favourably  situated  at  the  confluence  of  three 
streams — the  Upper  Avon,  Bourn,  and  Wiley.  Its  foundation  only  dates  back 
to  the  thirteenth  century.  Old  Sarimi,  which  down  to  the  reign  of  Henry  III. 
was  one  of  the  most  important  towns  of  the  kingdom,  exists  no  longer ;  but 
for  more  than  five  hundred  years  after  it  had  ceased  to  be  inhabited  it  retained 
the  privilege  of  returning  two  members  to  Parliament,  who  were  virtually 
the  nominees  of  the  lord  of  the  manor.  Its  site  is  marked  by  a  conical 
knoll,  about  2  miles  to  the  north  of  the  moderh  town.  Salisbury  is  now 
one    of  the  cleanest  towns  in  the  kingdom,   but  as  recently   as  1840  it  was  a 

Fig.  73. —Salisbury  Cathedeat.. 


poor  place,  with  numerous  unsightly  brick  houses  covered  with  thatched  roofs. 
It  has  grown  more  sightly  since,  but  all  its  modern  buildings  are  thrown  into  the 
shade  by  its  famous  cathedral,  the  finest  Gothic  church  in  England,  and  the  only 
cathedral  in  the  country  of  which  the  nave  was  erected  in  the  course  of  a  single 
generation.  It  was  finished  in  1258,  in  the  purest  pointed  style,  then  only 
recently  introduced,  and  in  accordance  with  the  original  conceptions  of  its 
architect.  Its  spire,  the  loftiest  in  England,  rising  400  feet  above  the  pavement, 
although  not  built  for  a  century  after  the  nave  had  been  completed,  so  far  from 
disfiguring  it,  is  one  of  the  most  imposing  objects  of  which  Gothic  architecture 
can  boast.     The  nave  and  north  porch  have  recently  been  restored  to  the  condition 


134 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


in  which  they  were  before  the  Puritans  robbed  them  of  their  numerous  ornaments. 
The  cloisters  and  adjoining  chapter-house,  octagonal  in  form,  and  with  a  vaulted 
roof  supported  by  a  central  pillar,  need  not  fear  comparison  with  similar  structures 
in  other  parts  of  the  world.*  The  Salisbury  Museum  contains  Dr.  Blackmore's 
collection  of  prehistoric  remains,  the  valuable  American  collections  of  Squiers 
and  Davis,   and   numerous  other   objects   of  interest.      Amongst  its  remains  of 


Fig.  74.— Salisbury  and  Stonehenge. 
Scale  1  :  168,000. 


Ancients^-     T^SmW^ 


#-'/'/.:':7^ Ancient  Earthworks 


V/W/.V: 


}IM'm\<^''- 


1*50 


1-40  W,ofG. 


«T  Tumulus 
2  Miles. 


mediaeval  architecture,  the  finest  example  is  a  banqueting  hall,  built  about  1470 
by  John  Hall,  a  wool-stapler,  and  now  used  as  a  china  store.  Salisbury  carries  on 
a  large  trade  in  wool,  and  manufactures  a  little  cutlery.  Important  sheep  fairs 
are  held  at  the  village  of  Britford,  a  couple  of  miles  to  the  south  of  it.  Wilton,  to 
the  westward,  at  the  confluence  of  the  Wiley  and  Nadder,  has  a  carpet  factory,  and 

*  Atii6dee  Pichot,  "  L'Irlande  et  le  pays  de  Galles." 


WILTSHIRE.  135 

a  seat  of  the  Earl  of  Pembroke,  famed  for  its  marbles  and  Vandycks.  Wardour 
Castle,  a  venerable  pile  in  a  finely  wooded  park,  rises  on  the  Upper  Nadder,  and  is 
rich  in  art  treasures. 

Warminster  is  the  most  important  town  in  the  valley  of  the  Wiley,  and  its 
neighbourhood  abounds  in  entrenchments  attributed  to  the  ancient  Britons.  But 
far  more  interesting  than  either  of  the  places  named  are  the  circles  of  stones  to  the 
west  of  the  ancient  town  of  Amesbury,  on  the  Upper  Avon,  and  in  the  very  centre 
of  the  plain  of  Salisbury.  These  "hanging  stones,"  formerly  known  also  under 
the  name  of  "  dancing  giants,"*  were  originally  arranged  in  two  circles  and  two 
ellipses,  having  an  altar  for  their  common  centre,  but  now  present  the  appearance 
of  a  confused  pile  of  enormous  rocks.  Most  of  these  stones  are  such  as  occur  on 
the  plain,  but  some  of  the  smaller  ones  appear  to  be  erratic  boulders,  probably 
conveyed  hither  from  Devonshire.  Roman  and  British  pottery  have  been  found  in 
the  neighbourhood,  which  abounds  in  barrows,  or  sepulchral  tumuli,  but  these 
remains  have  not  hitherto  shed  any  light  upon  the  origin  of  Stonehenge.f 

Northern  Wiltshire  lies  within  the  basins  of  the  Bristol  Avon  and  Thames. 
Devizes  is  the  principal  town  of  the  fertile 

vale  of  Pewsey,  which   extends  between  ^'^'  '^^■~^^^^^^' 

the  downs  of  South  and  North  Wiltshire,  -  ^^^^=^^3- ^:^^^_ 

and  is  traversed  by  a  canal  connecting  the  '^^^--^=^  '^^^.  ^' 

Thames  (Kennet)  with  the  Bristol  Avon.  ^^^^=^    ^^^- 

Devizes  carries  on  a  considerable  trade       ^^^^-^^^^S^^s^^UtjSf^  i^ltt 
in  corn  and  cloth.     Its  museum,  the  pro-        ^flj  ■^V^nf^^^HH^^fllV 
perty  of  the  Wiltshire  Archaeological  and     ^^^^^HHHH^^HJHJ^^I^kK 
Natural  History  Society,  is  more  especially        — ^^^^^^^^^^BH[^^HH^^fc 
rich  in  fossils.     Seend,  a  villao^e  to  the  ~^^^^^^^^^^5^^^^^^^^^ 

west  of  Devizes,  has  iron  foundries. 

The  Bristol  Avon  traverses  the  manufacturing  district  of  the  county,  which 
shares  in  the  clothing  industry  of  Western  England,  the  principal  seats  of  which 
are  gathered  round  the  Cotswold  Hills.  Malmeshury,  a  decayed  town  on  the 
Upper  Avon,  with  a  fine  abbey  church,  does  not  participate  in  the  prosperity  of 
the  towns  on  the  lower  course  of  the  river.  Chippenham,  in  some  respects  the 
most  important  amongst  these  latter,  is  celebrated  for  its  cheese  and  corn  markets, 
and  successfully  carries  on  the  manufacture  of  cloth,  agricultural  machinery, 
and  condensed  milk.  The  bridge  which  here  spans  the  Avon  is  a  venerable 
structure,  built  probably  in  the  latter  part  of  the  twelfth  century,  Calne,  a 
town  famous  for  its  bacon,  lies  to  the  east.  The  Lansdowne  column  crowns  a  lofty 
promontory  of  chalk  in  its  neighbourhood.  It  stands  within  the  area  of  Oldbury 
Castle,  an  entrenchment  to  which  the  Danes  are  supposed  to  have  retired  after  their 
defeat  by  Alfred  in  the  battle  of  Ethandune.  A  huge  White  Horse,  157  feet  in 
length,  and  visible  at  a  distance  of  30  miles,  was  cut  into  the  chalky  ground,  in 
1780,  by  an  enthusiastic  physician  of  Calne,  to  commemorate  this  victory.    Laycock 

*  Thomas  Wright,  "  The  Celt,  the  Roman,  and  the  Saxon." 
t  Rich.  Colt  Hoare,  "  History  of  Wiltshire." 


136  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

Abbey,  to  the  soufh  of  Chippenham,  was  the  property  of  W.  H.  Fox  Talbot,  the 
well-known  inventor  of  Talbotype.  Corsham,  an  old  residence  of  the  Saxon 
kings,  lies  to  the  east,  and  carries  on  an  extensive  trade  in  oolitic  freestone,  procured 
from  quarries  in  its  neighbourhood.  MeJksham,  on  the  Avon,  has  a  thriving  cloth 
industry,  but  yields  in  importance  to  its  neighbour  Bradford-on-Avon,  prettily 
situated  on  the  slopes  of  the  hill,  and  rich  in  quaint  gable-fronted  houses.  Its 
most  interesting  building  is  the  Saxon  church  of  St.  Lawrence,  the  only  perfect 
Saxon  church  remaining  in  England.  Bradford  has  been  noted  for  many  cen- 
turies for  its  fine  broadcloth,  and  kerseymeres  were  first  made  here,  but  the  cloth 
industry  is  no\N'  carried  on  more  extensively  in  the  neighbouring  town  of  Trow- 
bridge, which  crowns  the  summit  of  a  lofty  rock  on  the  banks  of  the  Bliss,  a 
southern  feeder  of  the  Avon.  Higher  up  on  that  river  are  the  iron  mines  and 
furnaces  of  Westbury. 

The  Thames,  or  rather  Tsis,  traverses  the  northern  extremity  of  the  county, 
running  past  the  ancient  town  of  Cricklade,  the  centre  of  an  extensive  parlia- 
mentary borough.  Old  Swindon,  in  a  pleasantly  diversified  grazing  country  to 
the  south,  is  a  pretty  market  town,  which  has  risen  into  importance  since  the 
construction,  by  the  Great  Western  Railway  Company,  of  extensive  workshops 
and  stores.  Most  of  the  men  employed  by  the  company  live  in  New  Swindon, 
about  a  mile  to  the  north  of  the  old  market  town. 

The  river  Kennet  rises  on  the  Marlborough  Downs,  which  are  not  less  rich  in 
prehistoric  remains  than  Salisbury  Plain,  and  joins  the  Thames  at  Reading.  Marl- 
borough, the  principal  Wiltshire  town  in  its  valley,  is  a  quaint  old-fashioned  place, 
with  a  famous  college  occupying  the  site  of  the  Norman  castle,  and  in  close  prox- 
imity to  Savernake  Forest,  the  domain  of  the  Marquis  of  Aylesbury.  Ascending 
the  Kennet  for  about  5  miles,  we  reach  Silbury  Hill,  a  gigantic  artificial  mound 
rising  to  a  height  of  125  feet,  and  surrounded  by  a  circle  of  sarsen  stones.  Tradition 
is  silent  as  to  the  events  which  this  structure  is  intended  to  commemorate.  Close 
to  it  rises  Avebury,  girt  by  an  earthen  mound  170  feet  in  height,  and  an  inner 
ditch.  The  area  thus  enclosed  was  originally  occupied  by  stone  circles,  similar 
to  those  of  Stonehenge,  and  perhaps  of  even  greater  antiquity,  but  as  many  of 
the  stones  have  been  removed,  it  is  difficult  now  to  trace  the  original  arrange- 
ments.* 

Hampshire,  South amptonshire,  or  Hants,  one  of  the  most  agreeable  counties 
of  England,  has  a  varied  surface  and  a  mild  and  genial  climate.  A  considerable 
portion  of  it  is  occupied  by  chalky  downs,  whose  northern  escarpments  f  look  down 
upon  the  valley  of  the  Kennet,  whilst  to  the  southward  they  slope  towards  the 
level  tracts  which  border  the  English  Channel.  The  valleys  which  intersect  these 
downs  contain  much  good  land,  and  some  of  the  finest  water-meadows  in  England. 
The  south-western  portion  of  the  county  is  almost  wholly  occupied  by  the  sparsely 
peopled  district  known  as  the  New  Forest,  where  oak  and  beech  trees  abound,  but 
which  also  includes  large  stretches  of  heath.    The  most  populous  towns  have  arisen 

*  Forbes  Leslie,  "  Early  Races  of  Scotland." 
t  Inkpen  here  attnins  a  height  of  970  feet. 


HAMPSHIRE. 


137 


on  tlie  capacious  bays  which  indent  the  coast.     Agriculture  and  sheep  farming 
are  the  principal  occupations,  the  manufactures  being  altogether  unimportant. 

The  Salisbury  Avon  traverses  the  western  extremity  of  the  county.  Flowino- 
past  the  ancient  towns  of  Fordingbridge  and  Bingwood,  it  enters  the  English 
Channel  below  Christchurch,  a  small  seaport,  the  only  attraction  of  which  consists 
of  a  fine  priory  church.  Bournemouth  is  an  aspiring  watering-place  to  the  west  of 
the  Avon,  much  resorted  to  on  account  of  its  dry  climate,  but  not  so  favoured  as 
many  other  watering-places  as  regards  picturesque  scenery. 

Lyndhurst,  the  capital  of  the  New  Forest,  is  a  smalltown  much  frequented  during 
the  summer,  because  the  neighbourhood  is  full  of  interest  to  the  botanist  and  entomo- 
logist. On  the  skirts  of  the  forest  is  Lymington,  an  outport  of  Southampton,  with 
an  inconsiderable  coasting  trade.     Bay-salt  is  manufactured  in  its  neighbourhood. 

The  peninsula  at  the  head  of  Southampton  Water,  formed  by  the  confluence 
of  the  Test  and  Itchin,  is  occupied  by  the  town  of  Southampton.  The  Roman 
town  of  Ciausentum  lay  to  the  east  of  the  Itchin,  its  site  being  occupied  now  by  the 
village  of  Bittern.  The  Test,  or  Anton,  is  a  good  trout  stream.  It  rises  above  the 
old  town  of  Andover,  to  the  west  of  which  lies  the  village  of  Weyhill,  famous  for 
its  sheep  and  hop  fairs,  and  runs  past  the  towns  of  Stockhridge  and  Romsey.  The 
latter  boasts  a  noble  abbey  church.  Adjoining  it  is  Broadlands,  the  residence  of 
the  late  Lord  Palmerston,  to  whom  a  monument  has  been  erected  in  the  town. 
The  Itchin  washes  the  foot  of  a  plateau  upon  which  rises  the  ancient  and  illustrious 
city  of  Winchester,  known  as  Caer  Gwent,  or  *'  White  Town,"  in  the  time  of  the 
Britons,  perhaps  in  token  of  its  pre-eminence.  During  the  century  which  preceded 
the  invasion  of  the  Homans  immigrant  Belgae  settled  at  Winchester,  whence  its 
Latin  name  of  Veuta  Belgarum.  The  Saxons  made  it  the  capital  of  Wessex,  and 
subsequently  of  the  whole  of  England,  and  notwithstanding  sieges  and  ravages,  it 
retained  its  title  until  the  twelfth  century.  For  a  long  time  afterwards  it  was 
looked  upon  as  a  kind  of  holy  city,  and  Parliaments  met  there,  and  kings  were 
crowned  in  its  cathedral.  The  latter  is  its  chief  edifice,  and  recalls  the  time  of  its 
ancient  supremacy.  It  has  been  built  and  transformed  in  various  ages,  and  includes 
examples  of  all  the  styles  of  architecture — from  the  rude  Norman  to  the  most 
highly  ornate  decorated.  The  great  western  window  occupies  more  than  two- 
thirds  of  the  height  of  this  superb  structure,  and  the  light  which  penetrates  through 
its  stained  glass  falls  upon  mortuary  chests,  supposed  to  contain  the  bones  of  early 
Saxon  kings.  Winchester  College,  founded  by  William  of  Wykeham  in  1387,  is 
another  remarkable  monument  of  the  Middle  Ages,  not  so  much  on  account 
of  its  architecture  as  of  an  adherence  to  ancient  traditions  in  the  system  of 
education  carried  on  within  its  walls.  Of  the  old  royal  castle,  originally  built  by 
William  the  Conqueror,  only  the  wall  and  a  subterranean  passage  remain.  The 
palace  which  Charles  II.  erected  is  now  occupied  as  a  barrack.  The  Hospital  of 
St.  Cross,  founded  in  1136,  lies  about  a  mile  to  the  south  of  Winchester,  and  the 
**  wayfarer's  dole,"  consisting  of  a  horn  of  beer  and  a  piece  of  bread,  is  still  given 
to  all  who  apply  for  it  at  the  porter's  lodge.  Higher  up  on  the  Itchin  is  the 
market  town  of  Alresford. 
106-E 


188 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


Southampton  occupies  so  favourable  a  position  between  the  estuaries  of  tbe  Test 
and  Itchin,  and  at  tbe  bead  of  its  long  bay,  tbat  we  need  not  wonder  at  the 
importance  into  which  it  has  grown  since  England  has  permanently  entered  into 
intimate  relations  with  the  continent.  Flemish  refugees,  driven  by  religious 
intolerance  from  their  homes  in  the  sixteenth  century,  introduced  several  branches 
of  manufacture,  including  more  especially  that  of  cloth- weaving,  but  these  indus- 
tries deserted  the  town  in  the  course  of  last  century.     The  event  which  made  South- 


Fig.  76.— Southampton  Water. 
Scale  1  :  160,000. 


WoPCr 


Depth  under 
5  Fathoms. 


Depth  over 
5  Fathoms. 


2  Miles. 


ampton  what  it  is  was  the  opening  of  the  South-Western  Railway.  Placed  thereby 
within  a  two-hours'  ride  of  the  metropolis,  Southampton  was  enabled  to  make  the 
most  of  the  advantages  which  it  oflfered  to  persons  desirous  of  proceeding  from 
London  to  foreign  parts.  By  embarking  at  Southampton  these  travellers  avoided 
the  delay  incidental  to  a  passage  through  the  Straits  of  Dover.  That  town 
became,  in  fact,  the  starting-point  of  the  Indian  and  other  mail-packets,  and  the 
docks  excavated  for  their  accommodation  at  the  head  of  the  peninsula,  as  well  as 


HAMPSHIRE.  139 

the  roadstead,  are  at  all  times  crowded  with  steamers.  The  stream  of  travellers 
which  uninterruptedly  passes  through  the  town,  the  transhipment  of  merchan- 
dise, and  the  repair,  outfit,  and  construction  of  ships  have  given  an  impetus  to 
the  industry  of  the  place,  which  is  causing  it  steadily  to  expand  in  the  direction  of 
Shirley  and  other  neighbouring  villages.  *'  Bargate,"  which  separates  the  lower 
from  the  upper  town,  is  the  most  interesting  relic  of  old  Southampton.  The 
Hartley  Institution  contains  a  museum,  a  library,  and  a  School  of  Art,  but 
geographers  are  more  likely  to  feel  interested  in  the  Ordnance  Survey  Office,  which 
is  intrusted  with  the  publication  of  the  maps  of  the  United  Kingdom.  Several 
thousand  sheets,  varying  in  scale  from  6  feet  to  1  inch  to  a  mile,  have  already  been 
published,  but  many  years  must  elapse  before  this  gigantic  work  can  be  completed, 
only  to  be  begun  de  novo,  for  the  surface  of  the  country  is  perpetually  changing, 
from  natural  causes  no  less  than  through  the  agency  of  man. 

The  eastern  bank  of  Southampton  Water  is  one  of  the  loveliest  and  most 
salubrious  districts  in  England,  and  no  better  site  could  have  been  selected  for  the 
great  Naval  and  Military  Hospital  of  the  country,  founded  immediately  after  the 
termination  of  the  Crimean  war.  Though  christened  in  honour  of  Queen 
Victoria,  this  hospital  is  popularly  named  after  the  ruins  of  Netley  Abbey,  which 
are  in  its  vicinity.  It  forms  an  outlying  dependency  of  Portsmouth,  which  defends 
the  mouth  of  the  Portus  Magnns  of  the  Romans,  opposite  to  the  Isle  of  Wight. 
This  great  place  ot  war,  whose  population  fluctuates  with  the  requirements  of  the 
naval  authorities,  consists  in  reality  of  three  distinct  towns,  viz.  Portsmouth, 
Portsea,  and  Gosport,  the  two  former  on  Portsea  Island,  on  the  eastern  side  of  the 
harbour,  the  latter  opposite.  The  lines  of  fortification,  however,  include  several 
suburbs  and  even  outlying  towns.  Southsea,  to  the  south  of  Portsmouth,  facing 
the  road  of  Spithead,  is  a  new  watering-place,  with  an  aquarium  and  a  fine 
esplanade.  Landport,  the  northern  suburb,  leads  to  the  Lines  of  Hilsea,  which 
defend  Portsea  Island.  Stokes  Bay,  with  the  watering-place  of  Anglesey,  lies 
between  the  walls  of  Gosport  and  the  detached  forts.  In  it  is  the  *'  measured 
mile  "  for  testing  the  speed  of  Government  vessels.  Even  Porchester,  the  ancient 
Roman  station  on  the  northern  side  of  the  bay,  where  there  are  the  remains  of  a 
Norman  castle,  and  the  small  port  of  Fareham,  in  its  north-western  corner,  have  been 
drawn  within  the  new  lines  of  defence.  Portsmouth  is  now  virtually  one  of  the 
strongest  fortresses  in  the  world.  The  entrance  to  the  harbour  is  defended  by 
Southsea  Castle  and  Fort  Monckton,  and  by  a  number  of  ironclad  forts  raised 
upon  artificial  islands  in  Spithead  Road,  and  armed  with  guns  of  the  heaviest 
calibre.  Two  lines  of  detached  forts  defend  the  approaches  to  Gosport,  and  a  chain 
of  most  powerful  works  crowns  the  heights  of  Portsdown,  to  the  north  of  the 
harbour.  These  various  works  of  defence  are  armed  with  1,120  guns,  and  a 
garrison  of  20,000  men  is  required  to  man  them.  They  are  well  calculated  to 
secure  the  safety  of  the  docks  and  arsenals,  which  give  shelter  to  England's  most 
powerful  men-of-war  and  a  vast  accumulation  of  naval  and  military  stores. 
Portsmouth  proper  possesses  but  little  to  interest  the  visitor,  except,  perhaps,  its 
garrison  chapel,  which  formed  part  of  the  Hospital  of  St.  Nicholas,  founded  in  the 


140 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


time  of  Henry  III. ;  but  Portsea,  with  its  floating  basins,  covers  an  area  of  290 
acres,  and  its  arsenal,  armory,  and  ship-yards  abound  in  objects  calculated  to 
rivet  the  attention.  Here  may  be  seen  the  most  perfect  and  ingenious  machinery 
for  making  blocks,  rivets,  and  bolts,  and  the  amplest  arrangements  for  the  construc- 
tion and  repair  of  wooden  and  iron  ships.  Off  the  dockyard  lies  Nelson's  celebrated 
flagship,  the  Victory,  and  looking  northward,  we  discern,  clearly  standing  out  against 
the  sky,  an  obelisk  which  has  been  erected  in  his  memory.  Gosport,  besides  large 
barracks,  contains  the  Royal  Clarence  Victualling  Yard,  a  huge  establishment. 
Haslar  Hospital,  for  sailors  and  soldiers,  lies  about  a  mile  beyond  the  town.  Life 
in  Portsmouth  may  be  said  to  be  concentrated  in  the  dockyard,  to  which  the  town 

Fig.  77. — FoKisMouTH  and  Approaches. 

Scale  1  :  185.000. 


Foreshore. 


Depth  under 
2^  Fathoms. 


is  indebted  for  its  prosperity  ;  but  there  remains  a  small  surplus  of  energy  for 
carrying  on  a  not  inconsiderable  coasting  trade.  Charles  Dickens  is  the  most 
illustrious  amongst  the  men  born  here. 

Havant,  at  the  head  of  Langston  Harbour,  to  the  east  of  Portsmouth,  is  a 
small  market  town  ;  whilst  Hayling,  on  the  flat  island  of  the  same  name, 
aspires  to  the  honour  of  being  a  watering-place,  and  engages  in  oyster-breeding. 
Petersfield,  an  old  parliamentary  borough,  close  to  the  Sussex  border,  is  a  pretty 
market  town  at  the  northern  foot  of  the  South  Downs. 

The  north-eastern  point  of  Hampshire  lies  within  the  basin  of  the  Thames. 
Here   are  Basingstoke,  Alton,  and  Alder  shot.       The  first  is  the  centre  of  one  of 


SUSSEX.  24  J 


the  finest  wheat  and  bean  growing  districts  in  England,  which  extends  northward  to 
Silchester,  a  village  on  the  boundary  of  Berkshire.  Silchester  is  interesting  on 
account  of  the  remains  of  a  Roman  amphitheatre.  Alton,  on  the  Upper  Wey  is 
famous  for  its  hops.  Aldershot,  since  the  establishment  of  a  permanent  military 
camp  on  the  downs  in  its  neighbourhood  in  1854,  has  grown  from  an  inconsider- 
able village  into  a  populous  town.  The  two  military  colleges  of  Sandhurst  lie  to 
the  north  of  the  camp,  within  the  county  of  Berkshire. 

Rude,  opposite  Portsmouth  Harbour,  is  the  largest  town  of  the  Isle  of  Wight. 
It  is  altogether  a  town  of  pleasure,  surrounded  by  gardens  and  villa  residences, 
and  the  chief  landing-place  of  the  crowds  of  visitors  annually  attracted  by  the  beau- 
tiful scenery  of  the  island.  Newport,  the  chief  town,  almost  in  the  centre  of  the 
island,  at  the  head  of  the  estuary  of  the  Medina,  possesses  few  features  of  interest ; 
but  it  adjoins  the  pretty  village  of  Carisbrooke,  commanded  by  a  picturesque  Korman 
castle,  in  which  Charles  I.  was  confined  a  prisoner,  and  his  daughter  Elizabeth 
died  in  1650.  The  port  of  the  Medina  is  at  Cowes.  If  Portsmouth  is  the  great 
resort  of  men-of-war,  and  Southampton  a  principal  station  for  mail-steamers,  West 
Cowes  may  feel  some  pride  in  being  the  head-quarters  of  the  royal  yacht  squadron. 
Its  regattas  are  the  most  famous  in  the  world,  and  on  these  occasions  the  most 
expert  seamanship  may  be  witnessed,  for  the  members  of  the  Royal  Yacht  Club 
have  in  their  service  1,500  of  the  best  sailors  England  is  able  to  furnish.  Slat- 
woods,  a  villa  near  Cowes,  was  the  birthplace  of  Dr.  Arnold,  of  Rugby,  and  Osborne 
House  is  the  marine  residence  of  her  Majesty  Queen  Victoria. 

Sandoicn  is  a  favourite  resort  on  the  south-east  coast  of  the  Isle  of  Wight.  The 
road  leads  thence  through  the  lovely  village  of  Bonchureh  to  Vent  nor,  the  chief 
place  on  the  Undercliff.  Bonchureh,  in  the  opinion  of  Dr.  Arnold,  is  "  the  most 
beautiful  thing  on  the  sea-coast  this  side  of  Genoa." 

Freshwater  Gate,  Alum  Bay  (where  sand  is  dug  for  the  glass  trade),  and 
Yarmouth  are  favourite  tourist  haunts  in  the  extreme  west  of  the  island,  close 
to  the  famous  "  Needles." 

Sussex,  which*  preserves  the  name  of  a  Saxon  kingdom,  is  a  maritime  county 
belonging  to  two  well-marked  geological  districts,  viz.  those  of  the  Chalk  and  the 
Wealden.  The  chalky  range  of  the  South  Downs  extends  through  the  southern 
portion  of  the  county,  from  the  borders  of  Hampshire  to  Beachy  Head.  It  slopes 
down  gently  towards  the  sea,  but  presents  a  bold  escarpment  where  it  joins  the 
Weald.  To  this  latter  the  remainder  of  the  county  belongs,  and  it  abounds  in 
wild  woodland  scenery,  unsurpassed  in  any  other  part  of  England.  Most  of  the 
rivers  which  rise  on  the  southern  slope  of  th.e  Forest  Ridge,  the  backbone  of  the 
Wealden  district,  find  their  way  to  the  sea  through  the  downs  by  oourses  which 
they  have  hollowed  for  themselves.  The  soil  of  the  Weald  is  for  the  most  part  a 
stiff"  tenacious  clay,  but  along  the  sea-coast,  in  Pevensey  Level  and  around 
Winchelsea,  there  occur  extensive  tracts  of  fine  marsh  land.  Hops  are  raised  in 
large  quantities,  and  the  county  is  justly  celebrated  for  its  fine  breeds  of  sheep  and 
cattle,  and  the  excellence  and  abundance  of  its  timber,  oak  being  more  prevalent 
in  the  Weald,  and  beech  in  the  other  parts.     Ironstone  exists,  but  it  has  not  been 


142  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

raised  since  the  use  of  charcoal  has  been  superseded  by  that  of  pit  coal  in  the 
smelting  and  refining  of  iron.  All  the  large  towns  are  near  the  coast,  and  the 
central  part  very  thinly  peopled  ;  but  with  the  exception  of  Hastings  there  is  not 
one  which  can  boast  of  fine  scenery,  and  most  of  them  are  commercially  unim- 
portant, owing  to  the  coast  being  singularly  deficient  in  good  harbours.  Even 
Chichester,  the  Roman  station  in  the  country  of  the  Regni,  and  subsequently 
the  capital  of  the  Southern  Saxons,  retains  its  importance  chiefly  on  account 
of  its  fine  cathedral,  the  only  one  in  England  which  has  a  nave  with  four  aisles. 
Goodwood  Park  and  its  famous  racecourse  are  in  the  neighbourhood. 

Bognor  was  founded  in  1786  by  a  London  hatter,  as  a  rival  of  Bath.  Little- 
ham2)ton,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Arun,  and  Worthing,  are  small  watering-places, 
frequented  chiefly  on  account  of  the  mildness  of  their  climate,  the  facility  of  access 
from  London,  and  the  advantages  which  they  afEord  for  sea-bathing.  The  town 
of  Arundel  is  situated  4  miles  up  the  river  Arun.  Its  magnificent  castle  is  the 
baronial  residence  of  the  Duke  of  Norfolk,  who  has  built  a  Roman  Catholic  Church, 
at  the  enormous  cost  of  £100,000,  which  far  surpasses  in  size  and  splendour  the 
old  parish  church.  Cisbury  Hill,  crowned  by  a  British  camp,  lies  to  the  north 
of  Worthing,  and  within  an  easy  walking  distance  is  the  village  of  Tarring, 
famous  for  its  fig  gardens,  said  to  have  been  planted  in  1145,  and  producing 
about  2,500  figs  annually.  JHew  Shoreham,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Adur,  which  has 
opened  itself  a  passage  through  the  downs  a  few  miles  to  the  north  at  Steyning 
and  Bramher,  possesses  a  small  tidal  harbour,  and  carries  on  some  coasting  trade. 

Brighton,  whose  houses  and  terraces  extend  for  4  miles  along  the  coast,  from 
Hove  to  Kemp  Town,  can  neither  boast  of  a  beach  presenting  unusual  facilities 
to  bathers,  nor  is  its  climate  very  mild,  nor  the  scenery  of  the  surrounding  country 
very  attractive.  It  is  indebted  for  its  good  fortune  to  the  circumstance  of 
having  been  built  under  the  same  meridian  as  London,  and  on  a  part  of  the 
south  coast  most  readily  accessible  by  rail.  Brighton  is,  in  fact,  a  mere  suburb 
of  London.  It  has  grown  into  a  populous  town  through  the  favour  extended  to 
it  by  the  Londoners,  and  though  having  no  other  industries  than  its  fisheries 
and  the  entertainment  of  visitors,  it  numbers  100,000  inhabitants,  or  150,000 
during  the  season,  being  in  this  respect  the  equal  of  many  important  manu- 
facturing or  commercial  towns.  Hundreds  of  merchants  whose  places  of  business 
are  in  London  have  chosen  Brighton  for  their  residence,  and  almost  every  morning 
they  travel  up  to  their  offices,  and  return  thither  in  the  afternoon.  By  degrees 
Brighton  has  come  to  be  looked  upon  as  the  queen  of  watering-places  on  the 
south  coast  of  England,  and  its  fine  museum,  in  the  curious  Pavilion  which 
George  lY.  .erected  as  a  marine  residence,  its  unrivalled  Aquarium,  opened  in 
1872,  schools,  and  other  public  institutions  entitle  it  to  rank  amongst  the  foremost 
towns  of  England.  Brighton  has  two  piers,  which  jut  out  into  the  sea  for  a 
considerable  distance.  The  town  is  supplied  with  excellent  drinking  water  from 
the  chalk  hills  which  bound  it  on  the  north. 

The  old  carriage  road  from  London  to  Brighton  runs  through  Lewes,  an 
interesting  town,  at  a  gap  in  the  South  Downs,  through  which  the  Ouse  finds  its 


SUSSEX. 


143 


way  to  the  sea.  A  portion  of  the  castle  contains  the  museum  of  the  Sussex 
Archaeological  Society.  Mount  Harry,  the  site  of  the  defeat  of  Henry  III.  by 
Earl  Simon  de  Montfort  in  1264,  lies  3  miles  to  the  east  of  it.  Newhaven,  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Ouse,  is  merely  an  outport  of  London,  whence  there  is  regular 
communication  with  Dieppe.  Close  to  the  railway  station  may  be  seen  a  mill,  the 
motive  power  of  which  is  supplied  by  the  tide.  Formerly  the  Ouse  entered  the 
sea  at  Seafordy  a  quiet  watering-place  about  2  miles  farther  east. 

Eastbourne,  on  the  eastern  side  of  Beachy  Head,  consists  of  an  old  village  at 


Fig.  78. — Brighton. 

Scale  1  :  120,000. 


W.of  G. 


Foreshore 


2  Miles. 


some  distance  from  the  sea,  and  a  modern  watering-place,  far  more  quiet  in 
appearance  than  are  its  rivals,  Brighton  and  Hastings.  But  whilst  the  old  village 
of  Eastbourne  has  grown  into  a  populous  town,  its  neighbour  Pevensey,  on  the  site 
of  the  Roman  Portus  Anderida,  and  affiliated  to  Hastings  as  one  of  the  Cinque 
Ports,  has  been  deserted  by  the  sea,  and  has  dwindled  into  a  poor  village,  whose 
houses  nestle  at  the  base  of  a  Norman  castle  reared  upon  Roman  foundations.  As 
one  of  the  Cinque  Ports,  Pevensey  was  exempted  from  customs  dues,  and  enjoyed 
special  fishery  rights,  on  condition  of  its  providing  a  certain  number  of  men-of-war 


144 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


for  the  King's  service.  We  may  fairly  doubt  whether  Julius  Caesar  landed  in  Peven- 
sey  Bay,  but  there  can  be  no  question  of  its  having  sheltered,  in  1066,  the  nine 
hundred  vessels  which  brought  William  the  Conqueror's  host  to  England.  It  was 
from  here  he  marched  upon  the  village  of  Epiton,  now  known  as  Battle,  where  he 
overthrew  the  Saxons  under  King  Harold.     On  the  spot  where  the  Saxon  standard 


Fig.  79. — Hastings. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chai-t. 


'"4    " 

4i  ..-si 
«*   Si 

6       fit 


4*^  ,'■  ^^' 

6 -••■  4  *•  Jm^  «      e 

e        ?        ,         7         7        5        ^       «     V.''        ' 


*««7         7  /<■         5777 


6        S  x'ZJ      O 


/' 
i 
!  13  It 


!  MUes. 


was  captured  and  King  Harold  fell,  the  victorious  Norman  caused  an  abbey  to  be 
erected,  which  he  endowed  with  the  prettily  wooded  land  for  a  league  around,  and 
with  numerous  manors  in  other  parts  of  the  kingdom.  At  the  village  of  Brightling, 
near  here,  a  great  boring  for  coal  took  place  in  1876  ;  the  bore  extended  to  a  depth 
of  2,000  feet  without  reaching  coal,  but  it  passed  through  a  bed  of  gypsum  which 
is  now  being  worked. 


SUSSEX.  146 

'  Hastings,  whose  Scandinavian  name  suflBciently  indicates  its  origin,  is,  next  to 
Brighton,  the  principal  watering-place  on  the  south  coast  of  England,  and  far 
surpasses  it  in  the  picturesqueness  of  its  surroundings.  The  old  town  is  built  at' 
the  mouth  of  a  valley  shut  in  between  cliffs,  one  of  which  (the  west)  is  surmounted 
by  the  remains  of  a  castle.  The  modem  watering-place  coalesces  with  the  western 
suburb  of  St.  Leonards ;  but  clusters  of  buildings  have  also  sprung  up  on  the 
surrounding  hills,  and  these  enjoy  a  climate  radically  distinct  from  that  which 
prevails  along  the  coast.  Though  formerly  the  most  jiowerful  of  the  Cinque  Ports, 
furnishing  no  less  than  twenty- one  vessels  towards  the  fleet  out  of  a  total  of  fifty- 
seven,  Hastings  is  now  unimportant  as  a  place  of  maritime  commerce  ;  but  it  still 
carries  on  its  fisheries.  Wirichelsea  and  Rye,  which  from  the  time  of  King  John 
enjoyed  the  same  privileges  as  the  Cinque  Ports,  are  two  interesting  little  towns  in 
the  marsh  lands  which  stretch  from  Eastern  Sussex  into  Kent.  The  former  of  these 
places  lies  3  miles  to  the  north-west  of  the  ancient  site  of  the  town,  which  was 
submerged  in  1287.  Rye,  like  Winchelsea,  has  since  been  deserted  by  the  sea,  but 
still  carries  on  some  coasting  trade  through  its  outlying  harbour,  about  a  mile  and 
a  half  to  the  east  of  the  town.  During  the  Middle  Ages  this  town  was  much 
frequented,  and  on  the  revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes  numerous  Huguenots 
settled  in  it,  and  many  of  their  descendants  still  live  there.  A  huge  church,  an  old 
tower,  and  a  gate  are  the  principal  buildings  likely  to  interest  the  antiquary. 

Horsham,  on  the  Upper  Arun  and  to  the  west  of  St.  Leonards  Forest,  the  chief 
town  in  the  Weald  of  Sussex,  is  remarkable  on  account  of  its  wide  streets  planted 
with  shady  trees.  All  other  towns  in  this  district  are  of  local  importance  only. 
Midhurst,  on  the  Eastern  Rother,  is  a  dull  market  town ;  Petworth,  to  the  east  of 
it,  attracts  visitors  on  account  of  the  art  treasures  stored  in  a  neighbouring  mansion 
called  Petworth  House  ;  Cuckfield  was  of  some  importance  as  a  stage  on  the  high-road 
which  connects  London  with  Brighton  ;  whilst  JJckfield  is  deserving  of  notice  for 
the  charming  woodlands  which  surround  it. 

A  small  portion  of  the  county,  to  the  north  of  the  Forest  Hills,  lies  within  the 
basin  of  the  Thames.  Here  East  Grinstead  is  the  most  important  town.  It  is  a 
rising  place,  near  the  head  of  the  Medway,  in  the  midst  of  charming  scenery,  and 
is  rapidly  becoming  a  suburban  residence  of  City  merchants. 

Dover  and  Folkestone  both  lie  on  the  Channel  slope,  but  will  be  described  in 
connection  with  the  county  of  Kent. 


CHAPTER  VI. 

THE  BASIN  OF  THE  THAMES. 
(Oxfordshire,  Berkshire,  Bugkinghamshihe,  Hertfordshire,  Middlesex,   Surrey,  Kent,  Essex.) 

tIE  Thames  is  not  the  largest  river  of  the  British  Islands,  but  in 
historical  importance  it  has  few  rivals.  The  largest  river  of  our 
globe,  tbe  Amazon,  drains  an  area  of  2,300,000  square  miles,  but 
within  its  basin  there  dwells  not  one  titbe  of  the  population  which 
crowds  the  great  city  of  the  Thames  valley.  True  the  city  we 
refer  to  is  Liondon,  probably  the  greatest  agglomeration  of  human  beings  which 
the  world  ever  saw. 

The  river  which  flows  past  London  rises  within  a  short  distance  of  the  Bristol 
Channel,  on  an  oolitic  upland  of  the  Cotswold  Hills,  which  looks  down  upon  the 
broad  plain  of  Stroud,  Gloucester,  and  Cheltenham  on  the  west.  Some  of  its  springs 
rise  close  to  the  edge  of  the  escarpment  which  faces  the  valley  of  the  Severn,  900 
feet  below  them.  Formerly  the  whole  of  this  upland  region  belonged  to  the  basin 
of  the  Severn,  but  continued  erosive  action  has  encroached  upon  the  eastern  slope  of 
the  plateau,  and  for  ages  the  water-parting  has  been  travelling  westward,  the  basin 
of  the  Thames  gaining  in  extent  at  the  expense  of  that  of  the  Severn,*  An 
examination  of  a  geological  map  of  England  shows  at  a  glance  how  extensively  the 
liassic  strata  in  the  region  which  gives  rise  to  the  head- waters  of  the  Thames  have 
been  reduced  by  denudation. 

The  principal  source  of  the  river,  known  as  Thames  Head,  rises  at  an  elevation 
of  376  feet  above  the  sea,  a  little  to  the  south-west  of  Cirencester.  It  gives  birth 
to  the  Isis,  which,  having  been  augmented  by  the  Churn,  the  Colne,  and  other 
streams,  becomes  navigable  for  barges  at  Lechlade,  on  the  borders  of  Gloucester- 
shire and  Berkshire.  Only  after  its  junction  with  the  Thame,  in  Oxfordshire,  does 
the  combined  river  obtain  its  proper  name  of  Thames,  which  it  retains  till  it  joins 
the  German  Ocean.  In  its  course  it  traverses  various  geological  formations, 
which  succeed  each  other  with  singular  regularity.  From  the  oolitic  uplands  near 
its  head  it  passes  through  a  region  of  chalk,  succeeded  by  tertiary  rocks  and  the 
alluvial  deposits  which  surround  its  estuary.  Speaking  generally,  the  basin  of  the 
*  Ramsay,  "  Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Great  Britaia." 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  THAMES. 


147 


Thames  may  be  said  to  be  made  up  of  parallel  strips  varying  in  width,  but  all 
striking  from  the  south-west  to  the  north-east.  A  broad  band  of  cretaceous  rocks 
extends,  however,  to  the  south,  having  its  root  in  the  "  plain  "  of  Salisbury,  and 
forming  the  range  of  the  ^N'orth  Downs,  which  separates  the  tracts  of  the  Weald 
from  the  valley  of  the"  Thames.  The  eastern  extremity  of  the  county  of  Kent, 
which  may  be  likened  to  the  prow  of  England,  forms  part  of  this  extended  band 
of  chalk.  These  North  Downs,  together  with  the  culminating  points  rising  upon 
the  uplands  from  which  they  extend  eastward,  forni  the  highest  elevations  within 
the  basin  of  the  Thames,  Their  height,  however,  in  no  instance  exceeds 
1,000  feet.*  The  chalky  uplands  to  the  north  of  the  river  are  even  less  elevated, 
and  only  the  Chiltern  Hills,  which  stretch  north-eastward  from  the  Thames,  above 
Reading,  can  compare  with  them,  their  culminating  point,  Wendover  Hill,  attain- 


Fig.  80. — CiRENGESTER   AND    ThAMES    HeAD. 
Scale  1  :  175,u00. 


bfetade 


W.of  G 


r  5.0 


2  Miles. 


ing  a  height  of  905  feet.  Formerly  these  hills  abounded  in  timber,  especially 
beech,  and  afforded  shelter  to  numerous  highwaymen.  To  put  the  latter  down,  and 
to  protect  the  inhabitants  of  the  neighbouring  parts  from  their  depredations,  a 
"  steward "  was  appointed  under  the  Crown.  For  several  generations  past  the 
duties  of  this  officer  have  ceased,  but  his  office  remains,  in  order  that  it  may  be 
conferred  on  any  member  of  Parliament,  not  otherwise  disqualified,  who  is  desirous 
of  resigning  his  seat.  The  applicant,  by  accepting  office  under  the  Crown, 
renders  his  seat  in  Parliament  vacant,  and  a  writ  for  a  new  election  is  ordered. 

The  basin  of  the  VThames  has  singularly  varied  in  extent  in  the  course  of 
geological  ages,  in  accordance  with  the  oscillations  of  the  land  and  the  displace- 
ments of  the  sea.     Whilst  England  still  constituted  a  portion  of  the  neighbouring 
*  Milk  Hill,  967  feet;  Inkpen,  973  feet ;  Leith  Hill,  967  feet. 


148  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

continent,  the  Thames  flowed  eastward  and  formed  part  of  the  basin  of  the  Rhine. 
At  that  time  it  was  merely  a  tributary  river,  but  its  volume  was  nevertheless  far 
more  considerable  than  during  a  subsequent  stage,  when  it  flowed  into  a  huge  bay 
of  the  sea,  which  reached  up  to  London,  and  when  the  site  of  the  great  city  was 
occupied  by  an  oyster  bed.*  At  that  period  vast  swamps  extended  to  the  eastward, 
almost  shut  off  from  the  sea  by  a  half- submerged  littoral  ridge,  upon  which,  even 
during  post-tertiary  ages,  the  bodies  of  huge  animals  floated  down  by  the  river 
were  stranded.  The  quantity  of  bones  of  rhinoceroses,  mammoths,  elephants,  stags, 
bisons,  and  other  animals,  which  geologists  have  discovered  in  the  marshes  of 
Ilford  and  elsewhere,  is  truly  astonishing.  At  the  present  time  the  land  once 
more  gains  upon  the  sea,  but  this  is  due,  in  a  large  measure,  to  the  work  of  man. 
The  sea-walls,  perhaps  commenced  by  the  Romans,  enclose  an  area  of  33  square 
miles,  depressed  between  3  and  7  feet  below  the  level  of  high  water.f 

At  Teddington  Lock,  at  an  elevation  of  21  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  the 
Thames  ceases  to  be  an  independent  river.  The  tide  flows  up  to  that  village,  and 
hence,  perhaps,  its  name  (Tide-end- ton  :J:),  but  the  river  does  not  present  the  aspect 
of  an  estuary  until  within  a  short  distance  of  London,  where  muddy  banks, 
alternately  covered  and  uncovered  by  the  tide,  are  first  met  with.  Even  within 
the  limits  of  the  metropolis  the  river  frequently  overflows  its  banks,  and  the 
low-lying  quarters  to  the  south  of  it  have  more  than  once  been  invaded  by  its 
floods.  Yet  in  the  basin  of  the  Thames  floods  ought  to  be  amongst  the  most 
exceptional  occurrences. §  The  rainfall  is  pretty  regularly  distributed  through- 
out the  year  ;  there  are  no  high  mountain  ranges  bounding  the  basin  ;  the  hills 
within  it  are  for  the  most  part  of  gentle  contours ;  and  the  rain  runs  down  slowly 
from  them  into  the  river  channels.  As  already  remarked,  the  principal  source, 
near  Cirencester,  rises  at  an  elevation  of  only  376  feet,  but  virtually  its  surface  is 
about  30  feet  lower,  owing  to  its  water  being  pumped  into  the  summit  "  pound  " 
of  the  Thames  and  Severn  Canal.  But,  besides  this,  more  than  one-half  of  the 
basin  of  the  Thames  is  composed  of  permeable  rocks,  which  allow  the  water  to 
percolate  into  the  bowels  of  the  earth,  instead  of  rapidly  flowing  down  the  hill- 
slopes.  The  contrast  between  permeable  and  impermeable  rocks  strikes  even  the 
superficial  observer,  permeable  soil  being  planted  with  corn,  whilst  that  which 
retains  the  water  is  laid  out  in  meadows.  In  the  permeable  district  between 
Nuneham  and  Maidenhead  no  tributary  of  any  size  enters  the  main  river,  and  yet 
it  grows  almost  visibly  with  every  one  of  its  bends,  owing  to  the  numerous 
perennial  springs  which  rise  on  its  banks.     A  regime  such  as  this  acts  as  a  natural 

♦  Hugh  Miller,  "  Summer  Rjimble  among  the  Hebrides." 

t  Redman,  Institution  of  Civil  Engineers,  1877. 

X  Huxley,  "Physiography." 

§  Volume  of  ihe  Tiiames  at  Teddington  Lock  : — 

A  verage  discharge,  per  second 1,300  cubic  feet. 

Maximum         ,.  ,,  .....  1,770         „ 

Minimum  ,,  ,,  700         ,, 

Area  of  the  basin  above  Teddington  Lock  ,         .         .         4,590  square  miles. 

Rainfall  within  the  basin .  26  inches. 

Surface  drainage        ........  4 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  THAMES. 


149 


regulator  upon  the  volume  of  the  river,  for  whilst  the  rain  which  falls  upon 
impermeable  rocks  is  quickly  carried  off,  that  which  percolates  through  permeable 
soil  is  stored  up  for  months  before  it  finds  its  way  into  the  river.  Curiously  enough, 
the  labour  of  man  has  been  expended  to  interfere  with  the  natural  discharge  of  the 
river,  and  the  Thames,  which  is  by  nature  most  inoffensive,  has  become  a  source 
of  danger  and  annoyance  to  the  people  who  dwell  along  its  banks.  The  locks, 
which  to  the  number  of  thirty-three,  interfere  with  the  natural  discharge  of  the 
river  between  Oxford  and  Teddington,  are  for  the  most  part  under  the  control  of 
millers,  whose  interests  run  counter  to  those  of  navigation  and  of  the  inhabitants 
generally.  They  have  reduced  as  far  as  possible  the  number  of  locks  required  for 
raising  the  barges  from  one  level  to  the  other,  and  they  take  care  to  maintain  the 
level  of  the  river  at  its  highest,  so  as  to  secure  ample  motive  power,  quite  regard- 
less of  the  fact   that  by  doing  so  they  expose  the  riverine  regions  to  disastrou.s 

Fig.  81. — Old  London  Bridgk. 


inundations.  The  channel  of  the  river  being  thus  for  the  most  part  bank-full,  is 
incapable  of  receiving  the  surplus  water  resulting  from  exceptional  rains,  and  floods 
are  the  natural  consequence.  But  what  matters  this  to  the  millers,  who  appear  to 
be  guided  by  the  axiom  that  "  one  man's  loss  is  another  man's  gain  ?" 

But  whilst  the  normal  regime  of  the  Upper  Thames  is  being  interfered  with  by 
locks,  the  channel  exposed  to  the  action  of  the  tide  was,  until  recently,  quite  as 
much  encumbered  by  old-fashioned  bridges.  Old  London  Bridge,  owing  to  its 
contracted  arches,  proved  a  formidable  impediment  to  the  free  passage  of  the  tide.  At 
low  water,  on  account  of  the  obstacle  it  presented  to  the  returning  tide,  there  was  a 
fall  here  of  about  5  feet.  Since  the  reconstruction  of  this  bridge  a  greatly  increased 
body  of  tidal  water  flows  up  and  down  the  river,  and  as  it  meets  with  no  obstruc- 
tion, it  flows  with  a  decidedly  greater  velocity.  The  eflect  of  this  is  to  scour  and 
deepen  the  channel ;  shores  formerly  foul  and  muddy  have  become  clean  shingle 
and  gravel ;    the  time   of  high  water  is  an  hour  in  advance  of  what  it  was  at 


15Q         •  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

the  close  of  the  fourteenth  century  ;  and  the  tide  rises  a  foot  higher  than  it  did 

formerly.* 

Of  the  tributaries  of  the  Thames,  the  Thame,  Kennet,  Wey,  Lea,  Rodmg,  and 
Darent  alone  are  navigable,  for  the  Medway,  which  falls  into  its  estuary,  is,  pro- 

Yig,  82. — The  Entrance  to  the  Thames. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chart.    Scale  1  :  384,000. 


K      i:      S      '! 


iic'i/ne^'    1'.,  .  /  <"    2  r 


^ 


5  Miles. 


perly  speaking,  an  independent  river  ;  and  the  same  remark  applies  to  the  Chelmer, 
Colne,  and  Stour,  which  fall  into  the  mouth  of  the  Thames,  using  that  term  in 
its  most  extended  sense,  at  various  points  on  the  Sussex  coast.  The  Nore  light- 
ship, which  lies  off  Sheerness,  where  the  river  is  6  miles  wide,  marks  the 
commonly  reputed  mouth  of  the  Thames,  but  legally  the  Port  of  London  is 
*  Redman,  Institution  of  Civil  Engineers. 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  THAMES. 


151 


bounded  by  a  line  drawn  from  the  North  Foreland  through  the  Gunfleet  beacon 
to  Harwich  Naze. 

The  littoral  region  which  bounds  the  estuary  of  the  Thames  to  the  north  and 
south  has  undergone  frequent  changes  during  the  historical  epoch.  The  sea 
gains  almost  incessantly  upon  the  coasts  of  Suffolk  and  Norfolk,  advancing  at  a 
speed  of  6  to  15  feet  annually.  Towns  have  been  compelled  to  retreat  inland, 
and  the  old  church  of  Eccles-by-the-Sea  is  now  buried  beneath  sand  piled  up 
by  the  waves.*  Elsewhere  changes  of  an  opposite  kind  have  taken  place. 
Estuaries  have  become  silted  up,  and  ancient  seaport  towns  reduced  into  agri- 
cultural villages.  Beccles,  which  had  a  much -frequented  port  in  the  fourteenth 
century,  now  lies  8  miles  inland,  and  the  trade  which  formerly  was  its  own  is 

Fig.  83.-  The  Isle  of  Thanet. 
Scale  1  :  206.000. 


Dep^^h  beyond 
6Pa  ■ 


'athoras. 


1  Mile. 


carried  on  now  by  the  modern  town  of  Lowestoft. f  Changes  of  even  greater  impor- 
tance have  taken  place  along  the  coast  of  Kent,  where  the  geographical  features  of 
the  country  have  undergone  radical  alterations  since  the  time  of  the  Romans.  The 
ancient  church  of  the  Reculvers,  which  may  be  seen  on  a  low  cliff  to  the  west 
of  Margate,  bears  witness  to  the  erosive  action  prejdng  upon  the  coast,  for  the 
Roman  city  of  Regulbm,  which  subsequently  became  the  capital  of  a  Saxon 
kingdom,  stood  at  a  considerable  distance  from  the  sea.  The  waves  have  gnawed 
the  coast,  the  Roman  wall  which  surrounded  the  city  has  for  the  most  part  been 
destroyed,  and  in  order  to  protect  the  church,  which  serves  as  a  landmark  to 
mariners,  from  a  similar  fate,  the  Admiralty  has  been  obliged  to  construct  a  sea- 

*  A.  Ramsay,  "  Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Great  Britain." 
t  Rogers ;  0.  Peschel,  '*  Neue  Probleme  der  vergleichenden  Erdkunde." 


152 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


wall.  But  whilst  tlie  sea  encroached  at  that  spot  upon  the  coast,  the  land  else- 
where has  gained  in  extent.  The  strait  which  anciently  separated  the  Isle  of 
Thanet  from  the  mainland  of  Kent  has  been  silted  up,  the  old  island  converted 
into  a  peninsula,  and  the  river  Stour  now  traverses  the  site  of  the  old  Wantsome, 
or  sea-passage,  through  which  foreign  ships  sometimes  passed  on  their  way  to 
London.  This  gain  at  the  north-eastern  corner  of  the  county  of  Kent,  however, 
is  but  small  if  compared  with  the  loss  sustained  along  the  east  shore  towards  the 

Fig.  84. — Goodwin  Sands. 
Scale  1  :  175,000. 


E.of  G. 


5  to  13 
Fathoms. 


Over  13 
Fathoms. 


close  of  the  eleventh  century,  in  consequence  of  a  terrible  hurricane,  which  also 
ravaged  the  coasts  of  Flanders  and  Holland,  That  storm,  we  are  told,  caused 
the  vast  estates  of  Earl  Godwin  to  be  swallowed  up  by  the  sea,  their  site 
being  marked  now  by  a  crescent-shaped  bank  of  sand,  which  lies  about  5  miles 
off  Deal,  and  turns  its  convex  side  towards  the  open  sea.  Mariners  dread  these 
sands,  for  shipwrecks  are  frequent.  The  "  great  storm "  of  1703,  when  four 
men-of-war,   with  1,190   souls  on   board,   were  lost  in  a  single   night,  and    the 


OXFORDSHIRE.  I53 

neighbouring  coast  was  covered  with  the  wreckage  of  merchantmen,  will  long 
live  in  the  memory  of  British  sailors.  Two  attempts  have  been  made  to  build 
a  lighthouse  upon  this  dreaded  bank,  but  the  work  of  man  was  incapable  of 
resisting  the  power  of  the  waves,  and  mariners  must  rest  content  with  light- 
ships and  buoys,  which  mark  its  contour.  The  roadstead  between  the  Goodwin 
Sands  and  Deal  is  known  as  the  Downs.  It  affords  shelter  to  vessels  during 
storms,  and  as  many  as  five  hundred  have  been  waiting  here  for  favourable  weather 
to  continue  their  voyage  down  Channel  or  to  the  north. 

The  ten  counties  lying  wholly  or  for  the  greater  part  in  the  basin  of  the 
Thames  are  almost  exclusively  agricultural.  Neither  coal  nor  iron,  which  might 
have  given  rise  to  a  manufacturing  industry  similar  to  that  of  the  north,  is 
found.  Yet  London,  which  has  gathered  within  its  boundaries  more  than  half 
the  population  of  the  whole  basin,  and  a  few  other  towns  of  less  note,  are  indis- 
putably seats  of  industry ;  and  the  metropolis,  thanks  to  its  noble  river, 
its  densely  packed  population,  and  its  command  of  capital,  will  always  be  able 
to  maintain  its  pre-eminence  as  "  universi  orbis  terrarum  emporium."  Fishing 
adds  to  the  resources  of  the  counties  bordering  upon  the  German  Ocean. 

Topography. 

Eastern  Gloucestershire  and  North-eastern  Wiltshire  are  within  the  basin  of 
the  Thames,  but  their  principal  towns  having  already  been  described  (see  pp.  1 1 7, 
136),  we  at  once  pass  to  a  consideration  of  Oxfordshire. 

Oxfordshire  lies  to  the  north  of  the  Thames,  between  Gloucestershire  and 
Buckinghamshire,  and  consists  of  level  or  slightly  undulating  land,  for  the  most 
part  under  tillage.  The  northern  portion  of  the  county  is  occupied  by  the  Edge 
Hills,  a  continuation  of  the  oolitic  Cotswolds,  presenting  a  bold  escarpment 
towards  the  vale  of  the  Avon.  These  uplands  give  rise  to  the  Windrush, 
Evenlode,  and  Cherwell,  which  flow  to  the  Thames.  At  Oxford  the  latter  river 
abruptly  turns  to  the  south,  and  passes  through  a  gap  at  the  foot  of  the  Chiltern 
Hills,  which  occupy  the  south-eastern  corner  of  the  county.  Agriculture  and 
dairy  husbandry  are  the  principal  sources  of  wealth,  barley  for  malting  and  butter 
being  amongst  the  most  important  products.  The  manufactures  are  unimportant  ; 
but  if  the  coal  underlying  the  oolite,  and  reached  by  a  boring  made  at  Burford, 
should  one  day  be  worked,  Oxfordshire  may  be  transformed  from  a  purely  agri- 
cultural region  into  a  land  of  manufactures. 

Oxford,  in  many  of  its  buildings,  still  presents  the  features  of  a  mediaBval  city. 
It  almost  looks  as  if  Time  had  not  touched  it  for  four  or  five  centuries.  Its  monuments 
of  the  past,  however,  have  not  become  ruins,  for  they  are  maintained  with  religious 
care,  and  present  the  appearance  of  only  having  recently  left  the  hands  of  the 
architect.  Still  the  limestone  of  which  most  of  them  have  been  constructed 
shows  marks  of  decay,  and  many  a  column  originally  decorated  with  elaborate 
carvings  has  become  an  unshapely  mass  of  stone.  This  decay,  however,  has  nowhere 
degenerated  into  ruin,  and  numerous  finely  carved  facades,  with  ivy  clinging  to  their 

lor— E 


154  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

projections,  may  still  be  seen.  Broad  lawns  surround  the  old  towers  and  gabled 
buildings  with  pointed  windows,  fountains  send  forth  jets  of  sparkling  water 
in  the  centre  of  the  courts,  statues  decorate  the  streets  and  open  places.  The  city- 
walls,  dating  back  to  the  eleventh  century,  can  still  be  traced  through  almost  the 
whole  of  their  course  ;  but  the  remains  of  the  castle  are  reduced  to  a  solitary 
tower,  the  Norman  buildings  which  occupy  its  site  being  of  modern  date.  From 
the  banks  of  the  Cherwell  or  Thames,  where  the  rowing  clubs  engage  in  their 
trials  of  strength,  the  domes,  spires,  and  stately  towers  of  colleges  and  churches, 
rising  behind  masses  of  dense  foliage,  form  a  picture  of  incomparable  beauty. 
The  panorama  to  be  enjoyed  from  the  roof  of  Eadcliffe  Library  is  unique  of  its 
kind,  for  we  look  down  upon  what  appear  to  be  the  palaces,  monasteries,  and 
churches  of  a  mediaeval  city.  Each  of  the  twenty-five  colleges  and  halls  which 
cluster  in  this  seat  of  learning  leads  a  life  of  its  own,  whether  it  be  University 
College,  whose  foundation  dates  back  to  1264,  or  Keble  College,  only  opened  in 
1870.  Each  has  its  special  history,  and  boasts  of  the  possession  of  ancient  charters, 
precious  works  of  art,  valued  libraries,  or  other  treasures.  The  buildings  occupied 
by  several  of  the  colleges  are  remarkable  as  works  of  architecture,  foremost  in  this 
respect  being  Christ  Church,  which  boasts  the  noblest  hall,  and  has  attached  to  it 
the  cathedral  church  of  Oxford.  Each  college  glories  in  the  men  of  mark  whose 
names  appear  upon  its  roll  of  members.  Oxford,  more  than  any  other  town  of 
equal  size,  has  shaped  the  common  destinies  of  the  nation,  and  many  men,  illus- 
trious as  statesmen  or  in  the  history  of  art  and  science,  have  been  trained  there. 
Yet  the  power  of  the  ancient  university  has  in  most  instances  been  exercised  in 
resisting  the  march  of  progress.  Not  a  stone  can  fall  at  Oxford  but  is  religiously 
replaced  by  another  of  exactly  the  same  shape.  Similarly  there  exists  not  an 
ancient  idea  or  a  custom  of  the  olden  time  which  the  learned  dons,  in  the  retire- 
ment of  their  time-blackened  colleges,  do  not  seek  to  perpetuate  through  their 
influence  and  erudition.  Although  Wickliffe  was  one  of  the  professors  at  Oxford, 
the  university  offered  a  most  powerful  resistance  to  the  spread  of  Protestantism  in 
England,  and  the  learned  Cranmer,  Ridley,  and  Latimer  were  burnt  to  death  in 
front  of  one  of  the  colleges,  that  of  Balliol,  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Mary.  At  the 
time  of  the  Revolution  Oxford  took  the  side  of  the  Royalists,  and  it  was  within  its 
walls  that  Charles  I.  established  his  head-quarters  during  the  war.  Since  that  time 
Oxford  has  taken  a  pride  in  being  looked  upon  as  the  stronghold  of  Conservatism. 
Of  late,  however,  its  traditions  have  received  a  rude  shock.  Some  of  its  professors 
and  students  are  being  carried  along  by  a  current  of  new  ideas,  and  Oxford  may 
now  be  said  to  send  forth  champions  who  ably  represent  the  most  extreme  views 
of  either  side.  Nor  is  there  another  town  where,  thanks  to  the  labours  of  the 
past,  arguments  in  favour  of  the  most  opposite  views  can  so  readily  be  commanded ; 
for  nowhere  else,  not  even  in  London,  are  similar  facilities  for  study  concentrated 
within  so  small  an  area.  Laboratories,  libraries,  and  scientific  collfections  are 
attached  to  every  college,  and,  in  addition  to  these,  there  are  the  ever-increasing 
collections  of  the  university.  The  new  Natural-History  Museum— it  was  only 
built  1855-60 — is  rapidly  growing   into  importance.     The  ''Taylor  Buildings'' 


OXFORDSHIRE. 


155 


contain  the  university  library,  whilst  the  adjoining  "  Galleries  "  afford  accommo- 
dation to  the  famous  Pomfret  marbles  and  a  collection  of  paintings  and  drawings, 
most  precious  amongst  which  are  162  original  designs  by  Raphael  and  79  by 
Michael  Angelo.  Radcliffe  Library,  named  after  its  founder,  the  physician  of 
"William  III.,  to  whom  the  university  is  likewise  indebted  for  its  observatory, 
occupies  a  handsome  rotunda,  surmounted  by  a  dome  rising  from  an  octagonal  base. 


Fig.  85. — The  Environs  of  Oxi*^ord. 
Scale  1  :  250.000 


3  Miles. 


The  buildings  known  as  the  "Schools,"  which  were  once  used  for  lectures,  in 
which  a  suite  of  rooms  is  set  apart  for  public  examinations,  are  now  mainly  occu- 
pied by  the  famous  Bodleian  Library,  thus  named  after  its  founder,  Dr.  Bodley, 
who  died  in  1612.  This  collection,  one  of  the  largest  in  the  world,  for  it  contains 
400,000  printed  volumes  and  25,000  MSS.,  is  more  especially  rich  in  oriental 
literature,  and  possesses  the  MSS,  collected  by  Dr.  Clarke  on  Mount  Athos.  It  is 
entitled  to  a  copy  of  every  work  printed  in  England ;  but,  like  other  collections  in 


156  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

Oxford,  it  profits  by  the  donations  which  accrue  to  it  through  wealthy  graduates, 
who  keep  their  alma  mater  in  fond  remembrance.  Jointly  the  various  libraries  of 
Oxford  contain  more  than  a  million  volumes,  or  nearly  as  many  as  the  British 
Museum  ;  but  it  is  matter  for  regret  that  these  treasures  should  be  available  only 
to  members  of  the  university  and  foreigners  whose  studies  compel  them  to  do 
homage  in  this  sanctuary  of  science.  During  vacations  the  libraries  are  almost 
completely  deserted.  It  is  at  such  a  time  that  the  fact  of  Oxford's  native  insignifi- 
cance is  most  strikingly  brought  home  to  us.  Without  its  two  thousand  under- 
graduates and  the  herd  of  hangers-on  who  minister  to  their  wants,  the  town  would 
resemble  a  desert,  and  grass  would  grow  in  its  streets. 

The  environs  of  Oxford  abound  in  pretty  villages  and  interesting  localities. 
At  Cuddesdon,  5  miles  to  the  south-east,  are  the  Bishop's  Palace  and  an  ecclesias- 
tical Training  College.  Nuneham  Courtney,  the  seat  of  the  Harcourts,  occupies  a 
wooded  height  overlooking  the  river  5  miles  to  the  south  of  Oxford,  its  park  of 
1,200  acres  abounding  in  fine  trees.  Woodstock,  8  miles  to  the  north-north-west, 
is  an  early  residence  of  the  Kings  of  England,  where  Henry  II.  made  the  bower 
for  his  fair  Hosamond.  Not  a  trace  remains  of  the  old  palace.  Blenheim  Park, 
which  was  presented  to  the  Duke  of  Marlborough  in  recognition  of  his  famous 
victory  of  1704,  adjoins  the  town.  Its  mansion  contains  a  valuable  collection  of 
paintings,  whilst  the  beautifully  diversified  park  abounds  in  old  oaks  and  cedars, 
and  is  stocked  with  deer  and  kangaroos.  Woodstock  is  known  for  its  gloves ; 
whilst  Witney,  an  ancient  town  6  miles  to  the  south-west  of  it,  on  the  Windrush, 
enjoys  some  reputation  for  its  blankets.  Burford,  higher  up  on  the  Windrush, 
is  an  old  market  town,  with  an  interesting  church  ;  whilst  Bampton-in-the-Bush,  in 
the  south-west,  has  the  remains  of  a  castle.  Spelshury,  on  the  Upper  Evenlode, 
was  the  birthplace  of  Sir  John  Franklin,  the  arctic  navigator,  in  whose  honour 
a  monument  has  been  placed  in  front  of  the  town-hall.  Chipping  Norton  is 
a  quiet  market  town,  near  the  western  border  of  the  county.  The  neighbour- 
ing village  of  Churchill  was  the  birthplace  of  William  Smith,  the  father  of  modern 
geology,  who  thus  passed  his  childhood  at  the  foot  of  those  oolitic  hills  which  are 
so  rich  in  the  fossils  which  subsequently  he  studied  to  such  great  advantage. 

Ascending  the  Cherwell  for  25  miles  above  Oxford,  we  reach  Banbury,  a  clean 
old  town,  with  quaint  houses  and  the  remains  of  a  Roman  amphitheatre 
known  as  the  "  Bear  Hing."  Banbury  is  famed  in  the  w^orld  of  gastronomy  for  its 
cakes,  cream  cheese,  and  ale.  The  battle  of  Edgehill,  in  which  Charles  I.  was 
defeated  by  the  Parliamentary  forces  under  the  Earl  of  Essex,  was  fought  7  miles 
to  the  north  of  it.  Bicester  and  Thame,  both  towards  the  Bucks  frontier — the 
one  to  the  east  of  the  Cherwell,  the  other  on  the  navigable  Thame — are  prosperous 
market  towns.  Bicester,  moreover,  is  noted  for  its  ale.  Near  it,  on  Akeman 
Street,  are  the  ruins  of  the  Roman  city  of  ^lia  Castra,  or  Alcester. 

Descending  the  river  below  Oxford,  we  reach  Dorchester,  at  the  mouth  of  the 

*  There  are  53  University  professors  and  teachers,  385  Fellows  of  Colleges,  and  nearly  2,000  under- 
graduates. The  University  has  an  income  from  external  sources  of  £15,000.  the  Colleges  and  Halls  of 
£307,000.  The  439  benefices  in  the  gift  of  the  latter  have  an  annual  value  of  £187.660.  Out  of  this 
income  £132,000  is  paid  to  heads  and  fellows  of  colleges,  £26,000  to  scholars  and  exhibitioners. 


BERKSHIRE.  I57 

Thame,  which  was  the  seat  of  a  bishopric  from  the  seventh  to  the  eleventh 
century,  but  is  now  a  place  of  no  importance.  Keeping  the  Chiltern  Hills  on  our 
left,  we  pass  from  the  upper  into  the  lower  basin  of  the  Thames,  and  reach  Henley, 
delightfully  situated  on  a  gentle  declivity,  amid  hills  covered  with  beech  woods. 
A  handsome  stone  bridge  here  spans  the  river.  Henley  is  the  head-quarters  of 
aquatic  sports  on  the  Upper  Thames. 

Berkshire  lies  to  the  south  of  the  Thames,  which  separates  it  from  Oxfordshire 
and  Buckinghamshire.  Its  surface  is  beautifully  diversified.  The  rivers  Ock  and 
Kennet  intersect  the  county  from  west  to  east.  The  vale  of  the  Ock,  known  also 
as  that  of  the  White  Horse,  from  a  gigantic  figure  of  a  horse  rudely  carved  on  an 
overhanging  escarpment  of  chalk,  is  the  most  fruitful  district  of  the  county.  A 
range  of  chalk  downs  separates  this  valley  from  that  of  the  "  Kennet  swift,  for 
silver  eels  renowned."  Here  the  soil  is  less  productive,  being  for  the  most  part 
gravelly,  and  a  good  deal  of  peat  is  found.  The  eastern  part  of  the  county, 
beyond  the  river  Loddon,  contains  Windsor  Forest  and  Bagshot  Heath,  and  is 
characterized  by  its  woods  and  forests.  Berks  enjoys  a  considerable  reputation  as 
a  dairying  and  grazing  county,  the  former  being  most  successfully  practised  in  the 
western  part  of  the  vale  of  the  White  Horse.  Most  of  the  cheese  made  is  of  the 
description  called  double  Gloucester. 

Faringdon,  an  old  residence  of  the  Saxon  kings,  occupies  a  sheltered  position  near 
the  head  of  the  river  Ock,  the  hill  above  it  commanding  a  fine  view  of  the  valley 
of  the  Thames  and  of  the  Berkshire  Downs,  White  Horse  Hill,  with  its  gigantic 
steed,  forming  a  conspicuous  object.  Wantage,  on  a  branch  of  the  Ock,  and  at  the 
foot  of  the  downs,  is  celebrated  as  the  birthplace  of  Alfred  the  Great.  AshdoM^n, 
to  the  south,  where  the  Saxon  king  defeated  the  Danes,  is  covered  with  numerous 
earthworks.  Though  situated  within  a  purely  agricultural  district,  Wantage 
enjoys  some  reputation  on  account  of  its  grammar  school.  It  also  boasts  a  fine 
church  of  the  fourteenth  century,  and  feels  some  pride,  too,  in  having  given  birth 
to  Bishop  Butler,  the  author  of  the  ''  Analogy."  Abingdon,  at  the  union  of 
the  Ock  with  the  Thames,  here  joined  by  the  Berks  and  Wilts  Canal,  which 
brings  the  town  into  communication  with  Bath  and  Bristol,  carries  on  a  brisk 
trade  in  corn  and  malt.  Of  the  old  abbey,  founded  m  the  seventh  century,  there 
now  exist  only  insignificant  remains.  The  churches  and  public  buildings  are 
deserving  of  attention.  The  pretty  village  of  Sunningivell  lies  within  a  couple 
of  miles  of  the  town.  From  the  tower  of  its  old  church  Eoger  Bacon  is  said 
to  have  made  his  astronomical  observations.  Culham  College,  for  the  training  of 
schoolmasters,  lies  on  the  other  side  of  the  Thames,  in  Oxfordshire. 

Lamhourn  and  Ikley  are  the  principal  market-towns  in  the  Berkshire  Downs, 
which  at  the  ancient  municipal  borough  of  Wallingford  approach  close  to  the 
Thames. 

The  Kennet,  on  first  entering  the  county  from  Wiltshire,  waters  the  old  town 
of  Hungerford,  a  favourite  resort  of  the  angler,  the  river  being  famous  for  its 
trout,  and  the  fisheries  yielding  a  handsome  revenue  to  the  corporation.  The 
Kennet  and  Avon  Canal  passes   the  town.      It  affords  the  most  direct  line  of 


J5Q  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

communication  by  water  between  London  and  Bristol,  and  many  of  the  bulky 
articles  of  commerce  pass  along  it.  Newhury,  lower  down  the  Kennet,  is  built  on 
a  peat  bed.  Battles  took  place  near  it,  in  1643  and  1644,  during  the  Cml  War. 
In  the  neighbourhood  are  Donnington  Castle  and  Shaw  House— the  latter,  not- 
withstanding  the  injury  it  suffered  during  the  war,  the  most  stately  Elizabethan 

mansion  in  the  county. 

Reading,  a  flourishing  commercial  town,  stands  on  the  river  Kennet,  1  mile 

Fig.  86.— Reading. 
From  the  Ordnance  Survey.     Scale  1  :  6.S,366. 


above  its  junction  with  the  Thames  It  is  a  place  of  considerable  historical  fame, 
battles  having  been  fought  in  its  neighbourhood,  and  Parliaments  held  within  its 
walls.  But  the  only  object  likely  to  interest  the  antiquary  is  the  remains  of  a 
Benedictine  abbey  founded  in  1121,  and  converted  by  Henry  VIII.  into  a  royal 
palace.  At  the  present  day  Reading  is  known  chiefly  on  account  of  its  biscuit 
factory,  which  dispatches  train-loads  of  them  daily  to  every  quarter  of  the 
globe.     There  does  not  probably  exist  an  article  of  food  more  widely  dispersed 


BEEKSHIEE. 


159 


than  Reading  biscuits,  for  they  are  eaten  everywhere,  from  Alaska  to  New 
Zealand,  and  from  Greenland  to  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope.  Reading  also  exports 
seeds  for  flowers,  and  has  an  iron  foundry. 

Below  the   "  Town  of  Biscuits  "  the  Loddon,  born  in  the  North  Downs,  not 
far  from  Basingstoke,  mingles  its  water  with  that  of  the  Thames.     The  country 


Fig.  87. — Windsor. 
Scale  1  :  55,000. 


0'34' 


1  Mile. 


beyond  that  river  is  to  a  great  extent  covered  with  woods.  Wokingham,  formerly 
known  as  Oakingham,  lies  on  the  verge  of  the  ancient  royal  forest,  and  up  to 
1821  was  noted  for  bull-baiting.  Near  it  are  Wellington  College,  for  the  educa- 
tion of  officers'  sons,  and  the  Royal  Military  College  of  Sandhurst,  both  on  the 
road  to  the  camp  of  Aldershot  (see  p.  141). 


IgO  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

The  Thames,  between  Reading  and  Windsor,  passes  through  some  of  the  most 
lovely  scenery  to  be  met  with  in  England.  Princely  mansions  are  numerous  in 
this  favoured  region,  most  prominent  amongst  them  being  Cliefden,  the  seat  of 
the  Duke  of  Westminster,  opposite  the  charming  village  of  Cookham,  on  the 
Buckinghamshire  bank  of  the  river.  Maidenhead,  the  centre  of  this  attractive 
district,  is  more  especially  noted  for  the  beauty  of  the  surrounding  scenery.  Near 
it  stands  the  church  of  Brayy  known  through  its  versatile  vicar,  who,  true  to  his 
principle,  ''  to  live  and  die  the  Vicar  of  Bray,"  never  hesitated  to  change  his 
religion. 

After  winding  through  the  verdant  plain  below  Maidenhead,  the  Thames 
strikes  the  foot  of  a  scarped  hill  crowned  by  Windsor  Castle,  the  only  sumptuous 
palace  of  the  sovereign  of  England,  and  one  of  the  most  extensive  and  picturesque 
piles  of  buildings  in  the  world.  The  all- surmounting  Round  Tower,  or  Keep ;  the 
pinnacles  of  the  beautiful  St.  George's  Chapel  showing  above  the  walls  ;  the  crenel- 
lated towers  of  unequal  height,  which  break  the  monotony  of  the  enceinte  ;  luxuriant 
trees  hiding  the  foot  of  the  walls  and  clothing  the  slopes  of  the  hill  down  to  the 
banks  of  the  river  ;  and  last,  not  least,  the  town  nestling  beneath  the  innumerable 
gables  and  towers  of  the  castle — all  these  make  up  a  most  charming  picture.  This 
is  indeed  the  residence,  not  of  one  sovereign,  but  of  a  whole  line  of  kings,  who 
from  century  to  century  employed  their  wealth  in  the  embellishment  of  the  home 
of  their  ancestors.  William  the  Conqueror  was  the  first  to  raise  a  fortress  on  this 
spot.  Edward  III.,  who  here  founded  the  Order  of  the  Garter  in  1349,  almost 
entirely  reconstructed  it,  and  since  his  time  nearly  every  sovereign  has  added  to 
this  pile  of  buildings.  The  castle  consists  of  two  great  divisions,  the  Lower 
and  the  Upper  Ward,  separated  by  the  Round  Tower,  formerly  a  place  of 
confinement  for  prisoners  of  state.  Several  portions  of  the  palace  are  exquisite 
specimens  of  architecture,  St.  George's  Chapel  being  most  notable  in  this  respect. 
It  is  one  of  the  finest  existing  examples  of  the  perpendicular  style,  most  richly 
decorated,  and  not  unworthy  of  being  the  burial-place  of  seven  Kings  of  England. 
The  entire  castle  forms  a  vast  museum,  abounding  in  pictures,  statues,  tapestry, 
and  works  of  art  of  every  kind,  presented  to  or  purchased  by  its  royal  occupants. 
In  the  state  apartments  we  find  ourselves  surrounded  by  precious  works  of  art, 
tastefully  displayed  to  the  best  advantage.  One  room  contains  an  unrivalled 
collection  of  twenty-two  portraits  by  Vandyck ;  another  is  devoted  to  works  by 
Rubens.  The  Waterloo  Chamber  is  decorated  with  portraits,  mostly  painted  by 
Sir  Thomas  Lawrence,  of  the  chief  persons  who  bore  a  prominent  part  in  the 
Congress  of  Vienna.  The  collection  of  drawings  by  ancient  masters  is  perhaps  the 
richest  in  the  world,  and  the  library  contains  many  works  of  inestimable  value. 
It  would  be  difficult  to  discover  a  more  cheerful  place  for  study,  for  the  wide  bow 
windows,  suspended  as  it  were  above  the  terrace  walks,  look  out  upon  one  of  the 
most  charming  landscapes  of  England,  with  the  Thames  pursuing  its  devious  course 
through  verdant  meadows. 

Looking  across  the  river,  we   perceive  the    clock  tower,  chapel,   and   other 
buildings  of  Eton  College.     The  village  of  Eton  is  in  Buckinghamshire,  joined  to 


BUCKINGHAMSHIRE.  161 

Windsor  by  an  iron  bridge,  and  virtually  a  suburb  of  it.  At  this  school  the 
flower  of  the  English  nobility  and  gentry  are  educated,  and  its  muster-roll  of 
eminent  scholars  is  worthy  of  the  position  it  has  attained.  The  college  was 
founded  in  1440  by  Henry  YI.  for  the  support  of  twenty-five  poor  grammar 
scholars,  and  the  like  number  of  poor  men,  who  were  to  pray  for  the  King.  In 
the  course  of  time,  however,  it  has  grown  into  the  most  aristocratic  school  of 
England.* 

The  delights  of  the  environs  of  Windsor  have  inspired  the  muse  of  England's 
poets  since  the  days  of  Shakspere.  Historical  associations  abound.  It  was  not 
far  from  Windsor,  at  Eunnymead,  that  King  John  was  forced,  in  1215,  to  sign  the 
Charter,  which  for  ever  limited  the  royal  prerogatives.  The  large  park  which 
adjoins  the  castle  abounds  in  delightful  walks  and  drives  through  forest  scenery, 
and  is  stocked  with  herds  of  deer.  The  "  Long  Walk,"  an  avenue  of  noble  elms, 
3  miles  in  length,  traverses  it,  and  terminates  on  Snow  Hill,  which  is  sur- 
mounted by  Westmacott's  equestrian  statue  of  George  III.  Three  miles  farther 
is  a  much-admired  artificial  lake,  known  as  Virginia  Water.  The  famous  race- 
course of  Ascot  adjoins  this  park  on  the  south.  Frogmore  House  and  the 
magnificently  decorated  mausoleum  of  the  Prince  Consort  are  in  the  Home  Park, 
to  the  east  of  the  castle.  Manor  Lodge,  in  the  Great  Park,  has  recently  been 
converted  into  a  manufactory  of  tapestry,  directed  by  French  workmen. 

Buckinghamshire,  which  derives  its  name  from  the  beeches  abounding  in  its 
woods,  forms  a  narrow  slip  of  land,  extending  from  the  Thames  northward  into 
the  basin  of  the  Ouse.  The  chalky  downs  of  the  Chiltern  range  cross  the  southern 
part  of  the  county,  and  separate  the  beautifully  diversified  tract  of  country 
bordering  upon  the  Thames  from  the  fruitful  vale  of  Aylesbury.  This  vale,  noted 
for  its  dairy  farms,  is  drained  by  the  river  Thame,  and  bounded  on  the  north  by  a 
range  of  sandy  hills,  beyond  which  lies  that  part  of  the  county  which  is  drained  by 
the  Ouse  and  its  tributaries.  Agriculture,  dairy-farming,  and  the  raising  of 
poultry  are  the  principal  -occupations  of  the  people,  in  addition  to  which  the  manu- 
facture of  pillow  lace,  paper,  straw  plait,  boots,  and  wooden  chairs  is  carried  on. 

Great  Marlow,  the  principal  town  on  the  Thames,  is  here  spanned  by  a  suspen- 
sion bridge.  A  few  miles  to  the  north  of  it,  in  a  delightful  valley  of  the  Chiltern 
Hills,  surrounded  by  villas  and  shrubberies,  lies  High  or  Chipping  Wycombe, 
one  of  the  leading  manufacturing  towns  of  the  county,  producing  paper,  wooden 
(Windsor)  chairs,  pillow  lace,  parchment,  and  plaited  straw.  It  has  the  finest  and 
largest  church  in  Buckinghamshire.  Two  miles  to  the  north  of  it  is  Hughenden, 
the  residence  of  the  Earl  of  Beaconsfield,  whose  title  is  derived  from  the  neighbour- 
ing market  town  of  Beaconsfield,  a  place  of  some  trade :  Burke  and  Waller  the 
poet  are  buried  there. 

The  Thames  between  Great  Marlow  and  Windsor  is  studded  Mdth  villas  and 
mansions,  most  prominent  amongst  them  being  princely  Cliefden,  already  men- 
tioned,  and  Dropmore,  whose  delightful    grounds  abound   in  exotic   pine-trees, 

*  At  present  there  are  70  foundation  or  King's  Scholars  (Collegers)  admitted  after  a  competitive 
examination,  who  are  lodged  and  boarded  in  the  college,  and  880  "  Oppidans." 


162  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

unequalled  in  size.  Slough,  a  growing  town  close  to  Eton,  has  brick-yards  and 
nursery  grounds,  but  is  more  widely  known  as  tbe  place  where  Sir  William 
Herschel  resided  for  forty  years.  Here  he  constructed  his  forty-foot  telescope, 
and  here  he  died  in  1822.  Stoke  Poges,  a  pretty  village,  is  close  by.  It  is  the 
burial-place  of  Gray,  the  poet,  and  the  scene  of  his  "  Elegy."  In  a  neighbouring 
park  a  colossal  monument  has  been  raised  to  Sir  Edwin  Coke,  Lord  Chief  Justice 
of  England.  Amersham,  a  small  municipal  borough  in  the  valley  of  the  Misbourne, 
amidst  wooded  hills,  manufactures  wooden  chairs  and  straw  plait.  Near  it  are 
Chesham,  in  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Chess,  a  famous  trout  stream,  with  its  paper- 
mills,  and  the  village  of  Chalfont  St.  Giles,  where  stands  the  house  in  which 
Milton  wrote  "  Paradise  Regained." 

Crossing  the  Chiltern  Hills,  we  reach  Aylesbury,  on  an  eminence  looking  down 
upon  its  fertile  vale,  the  county  town,  where  the  assizes  and  quarter  sessions  are 
held.  It  carries  on  a  large  business  in  preserved  milk,  butter,  and  straw  plait, 
and  sends  ducklings  and  turkeys  to  London  in  enormous  numbers.  Wendover 
and  Prince's  Rishorough  lie  at  the  northern  foot  of  the  Chiltern  Hills.  The  first 
named  manufactures  pillow  lace,  straw  plait,  and  coaches ;  the  latter  is  a  flourish- 
ing market  town.  Hampden  House,  the  home  of  John  Hampden  the  patriot,  Hes 
near  it.  Brill,  on  the  border  of  Oxfordshire,  had  formerly  a  royal  palace,  and 
King  Henry  II.  and  Henry  III.  kept  their  courts  there.  A  mineral  spring  rises 
near  it. 

The  northern  portion  of  the  county  is  traversed  by  the  Ouse,  and  nearly  all 
its  towns  are  seated  upon  that  river.  Chief  amongst  these  is  Buckingham,  the 
former  county  town.  It  is  an  old  place,  but  with  few  remains  of  antiquity, 
having  suffered  greatly  from  a  fire  in  1724.  In  its  neighbourhood  is  Stowe,  the 
princely  seat  of  the  Duke  of  Buckingham.  The  Ouse,  in  its  onward  course,  flows 
past  Stony- Stratford,  Wolverton,  Newport  Pagnel,  and  Olney.  Pillow  lace  is  made 
in  all  these  places.  At  Wolverton  there  are  extensive  railway-engine  shops; 
Newport  Pagnel  has  breweries  and  paper-mills ;  and  at  Olney  the  poet  Cowper 
spent  most  of  his  days.  Fenny -Stratford  is  the  principal  place  in  the  valley  of  the 
Ousel,  which  joins  the  Ouse  at  Newport  Pagnel.  It  occupies  the  site  of  Magio- 
vinium,  and  is  traversed  by  Watling  Street.  Winslow  is  the  principal  town  on  the 
road  from  Buckingham  to  Aylesbury. 

Hertfordshire  lies  almost  wholly  within  the  area  occupied  by  the  chalky 
upland  extending  eastward  from  the  Chiltern  Hills.  In  the  north-west  this 
range  forms  a  steep  escarpment  towards  the  plain  of  Bedford,  whilst  in  the 
opposite  direction  it  slopes  gently  down  to  the  low  counties  of  Middlesex  and  Essex. 
The  principal  rivers  are  the  Colne  and  the  Lea,  both  flowing  into  the  Thames.  A 
small  portion  of  the  county,  along  its  north-western  border,  is  drained  by  the  Ivel, 
which  is  tributary  to  the  Ouse.      Agriculture  is  the  leading  occupation. 

St.  Albans,  the  principal  town  in  the  basin  of  the  Colne,  stands  on  rising 
ground  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Yer,  or  Mure,  which  is  the  main  upper  branch  of 
that  river.  For  its  historical  associations  it  is  the  most  interesting  town  in  the 
vicinity  of  London.     Of  the  Roman  town  of  Verulamium,  or  Verulam,  from  which 


HERTFOEDSHIEE. 


163 


Lord  Bacon  derived  his  title,  there  remain  now  only  insignificant  vestiges,  though 
at  one  time  it  was  the  most  populous  Roman  town  in  the  south  of  England.  Its 
chief  interest  now  centres  in  the  church  of  an  abbey  founded  in  793  by  Offa,  King 
of  the  Mercians,  in  expiation  of  the  share  he  took  in  the  murder  of  Ethelbert.  The 
abbey  was  dedicated  to  St.  Alban,  the  protomartyr  of  England,  who  was  executed 
here  in  303  for  having  sheltered  a  Christian  priest.  The  abbey  church,  recently 
restored,  is  the  largest  and  one  of  the  grandest  edifices  of  the  kind  in  England,  and 
its  oldest  portions  date  back  to  the  eleventh  century.  '  In  1875  St.  Albans  became 
the  seat  of  a  bishopric.  Gorhamhury,  the  seat  of  the  Earl  of  Yerulam,  which 
was  purchased  in  1550  by  the  father  of  the  great  Chancellor,  stands  near  the  town, 
in  the  midst  of  a  fine  park. 

Watford,  on  the  Colne,  consists  of  a  long  street,  and  carries  on  the  manufacture 
of  paper.  Near  it  is  Cassiohury,  the  seat  of  the  Earl  of  Essex,  with  a  valuable 
library,  an  interesting  collection  of  portraits,  and  one  of  the  finest  parks  in 
England.  Ascending  the  valley  of  the  Gade,  along  which  the  Grand  Junction 
Canal  takes  its  course,  we  reach  the  market  towns  of  Hemel-Hempstead,  Berkham- 
sted,  and  Tring,  the  latter  at  an  elevation  of  420  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea. 
Malting  and  the  manufacture  of  straw  plait  and  of  chairs  are  carried  on  at  these 
places.  Berkhamsted  was  the  birthplace  of  Cowper,  the  poet.  Bickmansworth, 
near  the  junction  of  the  Chess  with  the  Colne,  has  important  paper-mills.  Straw- 
plaiting  and  horsehair  weaving  are  among  the  domestic  occupations,  and  water- 
cress is  largely  grown  for  the  London  market. 

Hatfield  is  the  first  town  washed  by  the  river  Lea  in  its  course  through  the 
county.  It  is  a  quiet,  old-fashioned  place,  with  a  church  of  Norman  foundation, 
overshadowed  by  the  magnificent  Jacobean  mansion  of  the  Marquis  of  Salisbury. 
The  surrounding  park  abounds  in  noble  trees,  and  a  carefully  kept  vineyard  is 
amongst  its  curiosities.  Hertford,  the  county  town,  on  the  Lea,  carries  on  a 
brisk  trade  in  corn  and  malt.  It  has  the  remains  of  an  old  castle  and  a  branch 
school  of  Christ's  Hospital.  Near  it  is  Panshanger,  the  seat  of  Earl  Cowper, 
with  a  valuable  collection  of  paintings,  more  especially  rich  in  examples  of  the 
Florentine  school.  Ware,  also  on  the  Lea,  is  the  largest  malting  town  in  England, 
and  malt-houses  form  its  most  conspicuous  feature.  In  its  southward  course  the 
Lea  flows  past  Hoddesdon,  Broxbourne,  Cheshunt,  and  Waltham  Cross,  beyond 
which  latter  it  enters  the  county  of  Middlesex.  Broxbourne  and  Rye  House,  near 
Hoddesdon,  are  the  best  fishing  stations  on  the  river.  Rye  House  is  a  favourite 
goal  of  London  excursionists.  It  was  the  scene  of  the  plot  of  1683  for  setting 
aside  the  succession  of  the  Duke  of  York.  Cheshunt  is  a  straggling  village,  with 
extensive  nurseries,  and  here  the  New  River  Company  has  a  reservoir  which  stores 
75,000,000  gallons  of  water. 

Bishop  Stortford,  on  the  Stort,  an  affluent  of  the  Lea,  and  close  to  the  eastern 
border  of  the  county,  has  malting-houses,  breweries,  and  tan-yards.  Chipping  or 
High  Barnet,  in  a  commanding  position  to  the  west  of  the  Lea,  is  noteworthy  on 
account  of  a  battle  fought  there  in  1471,  which  cost  Warwick  the  King-maker  his 
life.     An  obelisk  marks  the  site  of  this  memorable  event. 


164  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

Hitchin  and  Baldock  are  the  only  towns  in  that  part  of  the  county  which  slopes 
down  to  the  Ouse.  The  former  is  important  as  a  corn  market,  and  engages  in  the 
manufacture  of  straw  plait ;  the  latter  boasts  a  church  founded  by  the  Templars  in 
the  thirteenth  century. 

Middlesex  takes  its  name  from  those  Saxons  who  settled  in  this  "  middle  '* 
district.  Though  one  of  the  smallest  counties  in  England,  it  exceeds  in  population 
all  others,  for  within  its  limits  lies  the  chief  part  of  the  metropolis.  By  the  side 
of  London  all  other  towns  of  the  county  dwindle  into  insignificance,  nine-tenths  of 
its  population  being  embraced  within  the  limits  of  the  metropolis.  The  Thames 
divides  Middlesex  from  Surrey,  the  Colne  separates  it  from  Buckinghamshire,  the 
Lea  forms  its  eastern  boundary  towards  Essex,  whilst  the  Brent  intersects  its  centre. 
A  range  of  chalk  downs  runs  along  the  northern  border,  but  the  greater  part  of 
the  surface  consists  of  gravel,  loam,  or  clay,  and  is  diversified  by  hills  and  gentle 
undulations,  which  form  a  screen  to  the  north  of  London,  attaining  its  greatest 
elevation  (440  feet)  in  Hampstead  Heath.  By  far  the  largest  portion  of  the 
county  is  in  grass,  the  meadows  along  the  Lea  being  particularly  rich.  Along  the 
Thames  much  land  is  occupied  by  market  gardens  and  nurseries. 

Staines,  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Thames,  at  its  confluence  with  the  Colne,  marks 
the  extreme  extent  of  the  jurisdiction  of  the  conservators  of  the  Thames,  the 
boundary-stone  bearing  the  date  of  1280.  This  stone  stands  36|  miles  above  London 
Bridge.  Descending  past  the  villages  of  Laleham,  Ohertsey,  Shepperton,  Walton, 
and  Sunbury,  we  enter  a  portion  of  its  valley  famed  for  its  sylvan  scenery.  Below 
the  village  oi  Hampton,  where  Garrick  had  his  country  seat  till  his  death  in  1779,  and 
which  is  the  head-quarters  of  the  Thames  Angling  Preservation  Society,  the  gardens 
of  Hampton  Court  extend  close  to  the  river  bank.  This  palace,  built  by  Cardinal 
Wolsey,  who  was  compelled  to  surrender  it  to  his  master,  Henry  YIII.,  is  at 
present  appropriated  as  a  place  of  residence  for  court  pensioners.  A  considerable 
portion  of  the  palace  is,  however,  set  apart  as  a  picture  gallery  and  museum. 
Besides  a  good  many  paintings  of  inferior  value,  there  are  displayed  here  some 
undoubted  masterpieces.  Most  prominent  amongst  these  are  the  portraits  by 
Velasquez,  Holbein,  Titian,  Yandyck,  Gainsborough,  aiid  Lawrence.  The  fine 
gardens  are  laid  out  in  the  manner  of  those  of  Versailles,  but  cannot  compare  with 
them  in  the  magnificence  of  their  perspectives.  Bushey  Park,  with  its  unrivalled 
triple  avenue  of  limes  and  horse-chestnuts,  over  a  mile  long,  lies  to  the  north  of 
Hampton  Court.  Passing  through  this  park,  we  arrive  at  Teddington,  at  the  head 
of  the  tide,  and  virtually  one  of  the  suburbs  of  the  great  city,  though  not  embraced 
within  its  boundaries.  Thence  onward  country  seats,  in  the  midst  of  grounds 
famous  for  the  beauty  of  their  trees,  become  numerous.  Twickenham,  opposite  Eel 
Pie  Island,  a  famous  resort  of  Thames  anglers  and  picnic  parties,  is  especially 
favoured  in  this  respect.  Strawberry  Hill,  the  castellated  mansion  built  by 
Horace  Walpole  in  1747,  lies  above  this  delightful  village ;  Orleans  House,  from 
1852 — 71  the  residence  of  the  Due  d'Aumale,  but  at  present  the  home  of  an  aristo- 
cratic club,  below  it.  Near  the  latter  stood  Pope's  famous  villa.  Passing  Isle- 
worthy  near  which  stands  Sion  House,  the  residence  of  the  Duke  of  Northumber- 


Scale,  1:370,000 


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LONDON.  165 

land,  on  the  site  of  an  ancient  monastery,  we  reacli  Brentford^  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Brent,  an  important  river  port,  with  saw-mills,  malt-houses,  breweries,  chemical 
works,  and  soap  factories.  Kew,  with  its  famous  botanical  gardens,  lies  on  the 
Surrey  side  of  the  river.  Chistvick  is  noted  for  the  nursery  gardens  of  the  Royal 
Horticultural  Society,  the  palladian  villa  of  the  Duke  of  Devonshire,  in  which 
Charles  James  Fox  died  in  1806,  and  George  Canning  in  1827,  and  the  tomb  of 
William  Hogarth,  in  the  parish  church.  The  house  in  which  Hogarth  spent 
his  summers  for  many  years  is  now  let  in  tenements.  Fulham,  with  its  ancient 
church  and  an  episcopal  palace,  the  summer  residence  of  the  Bishop  of  London, 
lies  within  the  precincts  of  the  metropolis. 

A  chaplet  of  ever- increasing  suburbs,  extending  from  the  Thames  to  the  Lea, 
encircles  London  towards  the  west  and  north.  They  include  Ealing;  Acton;  Hamp- 
stead,  with  its  breezy  heath ;  Ilighgate,  affording  the  best  view  of  the  metropolis ; 
Hornsey,  which  still  retains  some  of  its  primitive  features,  and  near  which,  on 
Muswell  Hill,  has  been  raised  the  gigantic  structure  of  the  Alexandra  Palace ; 
Tottenham  ;  and  Edmonton,  the  latter  in  the  flat  and  clayey  country  bordering  upon 
the  Lea.  At  Colney  Hatch,  to  the  north  of  Hornsey,  is  one  of  the  lunatic  asylums 
of  the  county  of  Middlesex,  and  still  farther  north,  on  the  banks  of  the  New 
Eiver,  formed  by  Sir  Hugh  Myddelton  to  supply  London  with  water,  and  fed  by 
springs  and  chalk  wells,  there  rises  the  straggling  town  of  Enfield,  interesting  on 
account  of  its  Royal  Small  Arms  Factory. 

There  still  remain  to  be  mentioned  a  few  towns  in  the  western  portion  of  the 
county.  Of  these  Harrow-on-the-Hill  is  the  most  noteworthy.  It  is  famous  for 
its  church,  rising  on  the  summit  of  an  isolated  hill,  commanding  a  most  extensive 
prospect,  and  its  school,  founded  in  1571.  At  Hounslow,  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Brentford  and  the  Thames,  there  are  cavalry  barracks  and  powder-mills.  The 
adjoining  heath  was  formerly  a  favourite  resort  of  highwaymen.  Hamvell,  on  the 
Brent,  is  known  for  its  county  lunatic  asylum,  which  affords  accommodation  to 
1,750  patients. 

Uxhridge,  an  ancient  borough,  on  the  Colne,  has  important  cattle  fairs.  In 
1645  the  commissioners  of  Charles  I.  and  the  Parliament  met  there  to  negotiate 
a  treaty  for  peace. 

LONDON,  the  capital  of  England  and  metropolis  of  the  British  Empire,  is  the 
most  populous  city  in  the  world.  It  is  probable  that  no  other  city  ever  existed 
which  could  compare  with  it  in  the  number  of  inhabitants.  Neither  Babylon  nor 
Memphis,  nor  any  of  the  great  cities  of  China,  ever  contained  an  equal  number 
within  their  walls ;  and  if  Rome  and  Byzantium,  the  two  metropolitan  cities  of 
the  ancient  world,  could  have  been  united  into  one  when  they  were  at  the  height  of 
their  prosperity,  their  population  would  nevertheless  have  been  but  small,  compared 
with  the  multitudes  who  have  established  themselves  in  the  capital  of  England.* 

♦  The  most  populous  cities  of  the  world,  next  to  London,  are— New  York,  with  Brooklyn,  &c., 
1,980,000  inhabitants;  Paris,  1,8-51,792  inhabitants;  Berlin,  1,085,000  inhabitants;  Vienna,  1,001,999 
inhabitants;  Canton,  Siang-tau,  Singanfu,  and  Chang-chau-fu  in  China,  with  1,000,000  inhabitants 
each;  Tientsin.  930,000  inhabitants;  Calcutta  (with  Howrah),  992,000  inhabitants;  and  Philadelphia, 
850,000  inhabitants. 


166 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


London  has  often  been  likened  to  a  province  covered  with  houses.  If  we  hut 
enter  this  labyrinth  of  streets,  we  feel  as  if  steam-power  alone  were  able  to  extri- 
cate us.  Even  the  hardiest  pedestrian  yields  to  fatigue  when  traversing  this 
interminable  city.  Street  follows  street,  and  the  chance  of  obtaining  a  glimpse 
of  the  horizon  appears  to  be  a  remote  one.  Houses  without  end,  factories,  railway 
stations,  villas,  gardens,  and  blind  brick  walls  succeed  each  other  in  this  huge  hive 
of  humanity.  Even  in  the  midst  of  the  fields  or  in  the  outlying  parks  we 
feel    that   London  still  surrounds  us,  for  on  all  sides  the  houses  line  the  great 


Fig.  88. — Annual  Increase  of  Population  in  Thirty-one  Cities  op  Europe. 
According  to  Dunant. 


highways  which  join  the  metropolis  to  its  more  remote  suburbs.  Starting 
from  the  western  extremity  of  the  metropolis,  we  can  walk  successively  through 
Hammersmith,  Chiswick,  Brentford,  Isleworth,  and  Twickenham  without  ever 
leaving  the  houses  behind  us.  A  road,  parallel  to  the  former,  connects  Shepherd's 
Bush  with  Acton  and  Ealing.  The  northern  suburbs,  Hampstead,  Highgate, 
Hornsey,  Tottenham,  and  Edmonton,  advance  far  into  the  open  country  like  the 
arms  of  a  gigantic  polype.  Similarly,  when  travelling  south  or  south-westward, 
we  reach  Dulwich  after  we  have  passed  through  Brixton;  then  follow  Sydenham, 
Norwood,  and  Croydon,  and  though  we  extend  our  walk  for  a  distance  of  12  miles, 


LONDON.  167 

as  far  as  Epsom,  one  group  of  houses  succeeds  the  other,  and  only  at  intervals  do 
we  catch  a  glimpse  of  what  can  truly  be  described  as  "  country."  Thousands  are 
born  in  London,  live  and  die  there,  whose  horizon  has  ever  been  bounded  by  bricks 
and  mortar.  The  only  forests  they  have  seen  are  the  plantations  in  the  public 
squares,  and  the  sky  above  them  has  ever  been  tarnished  by  the  smoke  ascending 
from  innumerable  chimneys. 

It  is  by  no  means  easy  to  ascertain  the  real  extent  of  London,  and  to  settle 
upon  a  boundary  which  may  fairly  claim  to  embrace  the  whole  of  it.  Officially 
there  are  no  less  than  seventeen  distinct  Londons,  each  differing  from  the  other  in 
area  and  delimitation.  Every  public  department  has  traced  boundaries  and 
subdivided  the  area  included  within  them  to  suit  its  own  convenience,  and  the 
population  of  the  metropolis  differs  to  the  extent  of  several  hundred  thousand 
souls,  according  to  whether  we  accept  one  or  the  other  of  these  divisions,  the  most 
extensive  of  all  being  the  London  of  the  Police  authorities,  which  includes  all 
Middlesex,  together  with  Kent  and  Surrey,  within  a  circuit  of  12  miles.* 

The  concentration  of  so  great  a  multitude  of  human  beings  is  explained  by  the 
evident  advantages  of  London's  geographical  position.  The  site  which  it  occupies 
has  made  it  a  great  agricultural  market,  a  place  of  transit  for  passengers  and 
merchandise,  a  fluvial  and  maritime  port,  and  a  city  of  commerce  centrally  situated 
with  reference  to  all  parts  of  the  world.  It  enjoys  every  possible  advantage  except 
that  of  a  serene  sky. 

London  is,  above  all,  the  natural  outlet  of  the  rich  valley  of  the  Thames,  the 
most  fertile  of  England,  and  that  which  is  most  accessible  throughout  the  year. 
The  deep  yet  gentle  river  which  drains  that  basin  has  from  time  immemorial 
carried  on  its  back  the  produce  intended  for  the  maritine  emporium  established 
at  the  head  of  its  estuary.  No  other  town  along  the  river  could  have  taken 
the  place  of  London  in  this  respect.  Near  it  the  last  hills  die  away  on  either 
side,  and  communication  between  the  two  banks  is  still  easy.  Lower  down  the 
Thames  winds  between  marshy  banks,  frequently  flooded,  and  finally  expands  into 
a  wide  gulf.  Crossing  the  latter  was  sometimes  attended  with  danger,  and 
frequently  the  dwellers  on  the  Ijower  Thames,  desirous  of  crossing  from  shore  to 
shore,  preferred  to  journey  up  to  London  in  order  that  they  might  effect  their 
purpose  with  ease  and  safety.  Its  site  presented  peculiar  facilities  for  the 
establishment  of  ferries  and  the  construction  of  bridges,  in  addition  to  which  it 
afforded  considerable  security  against  foreign  aggression.  Like  Paris,  it  is  pro- 
tected by  the  winding  reaches  of  its  river,  and  this  is  a  capital  advantage  in  the 

*  Area  and  population  of  London  within  the  under-mentioned  limits :  — 


Parliamentary  boroughs 

Registrar-General's  District    . 

District  of  the  Illetropolitan  Board  of  Work- 

Postal  Districts 

School  Board  District      .... 
Metropolitan  and  City  Police  Districts    . 
In  1880  London  within  the  Registrar- General's  limits  had  a  population  of  3,680,000  souls. 


Area. 

Inhabitants. 

Sq.  Miles. 

1861. 

1871. 

60 

2,640,253 

3,024,066 

118 

2,803,989 

3,254,'260 

122 

2,808,862 

3,266.987 

452 

2,967,956 

3,536,129 

— 

— 

3,265,005 

687 

3,222,720 

3,883,092 

168  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

case  of  a  town  standing  at  the  head  of  a  wide  estuary,  open  to  the  fleets  of  an 
enemy.  It  proved  to  be  so,  at  all  events,  when  the  Dutch  under  De  Ruyter 
were  forced  to  retire  baffled,  after  having  produced  a  great  panic,  but  done  little 
harm. 

Even  looked  at  merely  with  reference  to  the  other  parts  of  the  island,  London 
enjoys  a  natural  pre-eminence,  which  has  become  more  conspicuous  from  century  to 
century  in  proportion  as  the  means  of  inland  communication  have  expanded.  The 
position  of  London  relatively  to  the  sea-coast  and  the  continent  of  Europe 
substantially  enhances  the  sources  of  its  prosperity.  The  configuration  of  the 
estuary  of  the  Thames  is  most  happily  adapted  to  the  purposes  of  commerce. 
Wider  than  the  estuary  of  the  Humber  ;  deeper,  more  secure,  and  less  encumbered 
with  sand-banks  than  the  bay  of  the  Wash,  the  huge  cavity  filled  by  the  mari- , 
time  Thames  is  admirably  fitted  as  a  harbour  of  refuge  for  the  vessels  which 
crowd  the  neighbouring  seas.  Moreover,  this  outer  roadstead  of  London  lies 
near  the  south-eastern  corner  of  England — that  is  to  say,  close  to  the  strait  which 
joins  the  North  Sea  to  the  English  Channel — and  London  in  consequence  has 
become  the  great  mart  of  the  two  opposing  streams  of  commerce  which  pass 
through  this  strait.  Just  as  the  two  tidal  currents,  the  one  coming  straight  from  the 
Atlantic,  the  other  wheeling  round  the  northern  extremity  of  the  British  Islands, 
meet  in  this  locality  and  produce  a  tide  of  double  the  ordinary  height,  so  does  the 
maritime  traffic  of  the  Channel  mingle  with  that  of  Northern  Europe  in  the 
port  of  London.  Without  this  common  centre  of  exchange  neither  would  have 
attained  its  present  importance. 

The  position  of  London  is  equally  favourable  in  relation  to  the  more  remote 
parts  of  Europe  and  the  other  continents.  As  long  as  England  was  only  feebly 
peopled  by  four  or  five  million  inhabitants,  whose  energies  were  almost  perpetually 
being  wasted  in  civil  wars,  London  was  unable  to  profit  from  the  advantages 
which  it  possessed  as  an  international  emporium.  But  no  sooner  had  England  made 
up  her  mind  to  share  in  the  wealth  resulting  from  maritime  enterprise  than  the 
geographical  superiority  of  the  Thames  as  a  port  at  once  revealed  itself.  London 
lies  very  nearly  in  the  centre  of  the  maritime  regions  of  Europe,  half-way  between 
the  Strait  of  Gibraltar  and  the  North  Cape  of  Scandinavia,  whilst  at  the  same 
time  it  occupies  the  centre  of  gravity  of  the  great  continental  land  masses.  It  is 
the  natural  point  of  departure  for  vessels  trading  either  with  the  two  Americas  or 
the  extreme  East  and  the  world  of  the  Pacific.  The  great  lines  of  navigation 
converge  upon  it  from  every  quarter  of  the  globe.  The  Mayor  of  London  who 
ironically  asked  the  King,  who  had  threatened  to  remove  the  seat  of  his  government, 
whether  the  citizens  would  be  permitted  to  keep  the  Thames,  had  an  inkling  of 
the  advantages  London  possessed  as  an  international  port  long  before  they  had 
fully  revealed  themselves. 

London  was  already  a  town  of  some  importance  during  the  dominion  of  the 
Romans,  for  Tacitus  refers  to  it  as  being  famous  for  its  commerce  and  the  resort  of 
numerous  strangers.  During  the  Middle  Ages  London  grew  but  slowly,  and 
its  progress  was  repeatedly  arrested  by  wars,  commercial  crises,  and  epidemics.    Up 


LONDON. 


169 


to'the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century  Paris  equalled  it  in  population,  and  had 
no  doubt  surpassed  it  at  various  preceding  epochs.  But  no  sooner  had  England 
gained  a  footing  in  India,  which  gave  London  a  fresh  source  of  wealth  through  its 
commerce  with  the  East,  than  the  city  on  the  Thames  rapidly  and  definitely 
passed  ahead  of  its  rival  on  the  Seine.  Its  population  of  scarcely  over  half 
a  million  souls  in  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century  rose  to  nearly  a  million 
in  the  course  of  the  succeeding  hundred  years,  and  has  quadrupled  since.  The 
average  normal  increase,  which  during  the  preceding  decade  annually  amounted 
to  45,000  souls,  exceeds  at  present  60,000.  This  increase  is  the  same  as  if  a  village 
of  170  inhabitants  sprang  daily  from  the  ground,  to  be  added   to  the  existing 

Fig.  89. — The  Growth  of  London. 
Scale  1   :  178,500. 


2  MUes. 


agglomeration  of  buildings  and  human  beings.  On  an  average  a  new  house  is 
built  every  hour  of  the  day  or  night,  and  added  to  the  500,000  existing  houses 
of  the  metropolis.*  The  absorption  of  the  country  by  the  great  city  proceeds  with 
the  inexorability  of  a  natural  phenomenon.  The  ''ocean  of  bricks  and  mortar" 
expands  without  cessation,  like  the  surface  of  a  lake  which  has  broken  its  embank- 
ments. And  whilst  London  increases  in  extent,  sending  forth  shoots  in  all 
directions  like  certain  trees,  the  villages  around  it  gradually  grow  into  towns,  until 
they  are   swallowed  up  by  the  overflowing  metropolis.    Three  hundred  years  ago 

*  In  1878   17,127  new  houses  were  built  within  the  district  of  the  Metropolitan  Police,  and   352 
streets,  with  a  total  length  of  55  miles,  were  opened  to  the  public. 
108— E 


170  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

the  City  and  Westminster  became  one  ;  Greenwich  and  Woolwich  are  attached  to 
their  powerful  neighbour  by  bands  of  houses  ;  and  Croydon,  Wimbledon,  Putney, 
Kichmond,  Kingston,  Brentford,  and  other  more  remote  towns  and  villages  are  on 
the  point  of  losing  their  individual  character  and  becoming  suburbs  of  the  all- 
devouring  city.  We  smile  now  when  told  of  the  severe  edict  published 
by  Queen  Elizabeth  which  forbade  the  erection  of  any  building  whatsoever  within 
3  miles  of  London  and  Westminster,  and  required  the  demolition  of  all  sheds 
constructed  within  the  previous  seven  years,  and  of  all  buildings  not  then  completed. 
And  yet  in  1602,  when  the  Queen,  dreading  the  mischief  likely  to  arise  from  a 
further  increase  of  the  metropolis,  sought  to  stop  it  for  ever  after  by  her  edict, 
London  had  not  the  fifteenth  part  of  its  present  population.  Actually  the  25,000 
streets  of  London,  if  placed  end  to  end,  would  stretch  across  Europe  and  Asia  as 
far  as  the  southern  extremity  of  British  India. 

In  the  course  of  its  expansion,  at  the  expense  of  fields,  meadows,  and  woods, 
London,  like  Paris,  has  converted  its  streams  and  rivulets  into  covered  sewers. 
The  Fleet  has  disappeared  altogether,  but  its  ancient  course  can  still  be  traced  by 
following  the  low-lying  streets  in  the  western  part  of  the  City.  The  Old  Bourne, 
now  corrupted  into  Holborn,  was  one  of  its  feeders,  and  by  its  mouth  the 
Thames  formed  a  small  harbour.  The  winding  rivulet,  on  the  banks  of  which 
stood  Tyburn  Tree,  so  often  referred  to  in  the  history  of  England,  has  likewise 
disappeared  for  the  greater  part  of  its  course,  but  it  continues  to  feed  a  pretty 
sheet  of  water  in  Hyde  Park.  In  the  heart  of  London  we  only  meet  with  a  few 
trees  to  remind  us  of  external  nature,  but  the  names  of  streets  and  districts,  such 
as  Hatton  Garden,  Spitalfields,  and  others,  recall  a  time  when  there  existed 
gardens  famous  for  their  roses  and  strawberries,  and  preserves  in  which  the  Lord 
Mayor  and  the  Aldermen  hunted  the  stag.*  Most  of  the  modern  quarters  of  the 
town  are  laid  out  in  such  a  manner  as  to  enclose  here  and  there  a  bit  of  veritable 
country,  with  clumps  of  trees,  shrubberies,  carefully  kept  lawns,  and  herds  of 
browsing  sheep.  To  these  parks  f  and  squares,  and  to  the  thousands  of  gardens 
attached  to  private  houses,  the  town  is  indebted  for  much  pure  air  and  light.  The 
removal  of  the  primitive  fortifications  which  formerly  engirdled  the  City  has 
allowed  London  to  expand  freely  in  all  directions.  Instead  of  raising  tenement 
upon  tenement,  as  in  Paris,  houses  of  moderate  size  have  been  reared  side  by  side, 
and  only  in  the  business  quarters  has  space  been  utilised  to  the  full  extent  of  its 
capacity.  Thus,  though  the  population  of  London  is  only  double  that  of  Paris, 
the  area  it  covers  is  at  least  five  times  as  great,  and  its  inhabitants  obtain  a  larger 
supply  of  respirable  air.  On  an  average  every  house  in  London  is  inhabited  by 
seven  or  eight  persons. J 

*  Thornbury  and  Walford,  "  Old  and  New  London." 

t  The  thirteen  parks  of  London  cover  an  area  of  2,223  acres— the  West-end  parks,  from  Whitehall 
to  Kensington,  embracing  788  acres. 

X  Average  number  of  persons  to  each  inhabited  house  in  the  metropolitan  counties : — 


Middlesex  . 
Surrey- 
Kent  . 
England  and  Wales 


1851. 

1861. 

1871. 

7-9 

7-9 

7-9 

6-3 

6-4 

6-6 

6-7 

5-8 

5-6 

55 

5-4 

6-3 

LONDON.  171 

Unfortunately  the  metropolis  of  England  has  not  at  its  command  a  sufficient 
supply  of  pure  drinking  water.  The  liquid  supplied  to  some  of  the  quarters  of  the 
town  abounds  in  organic  matter  in  a  state  of  decomposition  ;  and  the  death  rate 
rises  there  to  double  and  even  triple  the  height  of  what  it  is  in  more  favoured 
localities,  where  the  water  supply  is  more  satisfactory.*  The  Thames  still  supplies 
London  with  most  of  the  water  required  for  domestic  purposes,  and  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  London  that  river  is  not  by  any  means  a  limpid  stream.  Its 
improvement  has  nevertheless  been  great  since  the  middle  of  the  century,  when 
the  whole  of  the  London  sewage  found  its  way  into  it.  At  that  time  the  water  of 
the  Thames  was  much  polluted.  The  tide  floated  this  matter  up  and  .down  the 
river  ;  the  passing  vessels  stirred  it  to  the  surface  ;  and  it  was  not  without  some 
risk  to  health  that  passengers  embarked  in  them.  Even  now  the  water  of  the 
Thames,  polluted  by  the  waste  washed  into  it  from  the  river  banks,  or  thrown  out 
by  the  crews  of  the  vessels,  is  far  from  pure.  A  deposit;  of  mud  is  left  by  it  upon 
the  flats  and  steps  of  the  landing-places  when  it  retires  with  the  ebb  tide.  The 
Thames  has  been  much  "  purified,"  as  far  as  it  flows  through  London  proper ;  but 
this  cannot  be  said  of  its  lower  course. 

The  main  drainage  of  London  was  carried  out  between  1859  and  1875  under 
the  supervision  of  the  Metropolitan  Board  of  Works.  The  sewage  is  carried  to  a 
considerable  distance  below  London,  and  pumped  into  the  Thames  by  powerful 
steam-engines  erected  at  the  Abbey  Mills,  near  Barking  Creek,  and  at  Crossness 
Point,  on  the  opposite  bank  of  the  river.t  These  works  cost  no  less  than 
£4,500,000,  but  they  have  by  no  means  answered  expectations.  The  metropolis 
has  been  purified,  no  doubt,  but  the  towns  near  the  outfall  sewers  complain  of 
being  poisoned,  and  the  silt  in  the  river  increases  from  year  to  year.  It  was  hoped 
more  especially  that  the  sewage  discharged  into  the  river  would  be  carried  away 
to  the  sea.  Unfortunately  a  considerable  portion  of  this  sewage,  after  having  been 
carried  down  stream  by  the  ebb,  returns  with  the  flowing  tide,  and  banks  formed 
of  sewage  approach  nearer  and  nearer  to  the  towns  in  the  neighbourhood  of  its 
outfalls.  The  Metropolitan  Board  of  Works  is  responsible  for  this  contamina- 
tion. Several  kinds  of  fish  which  formerly  ascended  the  Thames  have  been 
driven  away  by  these  impurities.  Whitebait,  so  highly  esteemed  by  gastro- 
nomists,+  and  which  were  formerly  caught  as  high  up  as  Greenwich,  are  seen  there 
no  longer.  The  Dutch  fishermen,  who  enter  the  Thames  in  their  pursuit,  restrict 
their  incursions  from  year  to  year.  In  1852  they  came  up  to  Erith  ;  in  1859  they 
stopped  short  of  Greenhithe  ;  in  1862  they  were  driven  from  Gravesend  ;  and  at 
present  they  hardly  pass  beyond  the  Nore.§  And  yet  this  sewage  matter,  which 
poisons  the  river  and  pollutes  the  air  of  the  towns,  might  be  usefully  employed 

*  In  1877  the  London  water  supply  was  classified  as  follows : — 

Unexception ably  pure 7,000,000  gallons. 

Sometimes  pure .       63,000,000        „ 

Polluted  with  sewage 61,000,000 

t  Total  length  of  main  sewers  254  miles,  and  of  local  sewers  776  miles.  Daily  discharge  of  sewage 
about  500,000  tons. 

X  According  to  Van  Beneden  ("  Patria  Belgica,"  i.  p.  326)  the  whitebait  is  a  young  herring,  but 
other  authorities  maintain  that  it  is  a  distinct  species. 
§  Calvert,  Official  Report,  1877. 


172 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


in  fertilising  tlie  lowlands  along  both  banks  of  the  Thames,  and  in  converting 
unproductive  mud-flats  into  rich  pasture- grounds.  Experiments  made  on  various 
occasions  have  demonstrated  that  London  gets  rid  at  a  considerable  expense,  and 
throws  into  the  sea,  an  element  of  agricultural  wealth  equal  in  value  to  the  annual 
produce  of  7,660,000  acres.*  Surely  the  example  set  by  Paris,  Danzig,  Edinburgh, 
Coventry,  and  many  other  towns  ought  not  to  have  been  lost  upon  London ;  but 
no  plan  for  utilising  its  sewage  has  hitherto  been  carried  out  effectually. 

In  the  distribution  of  pure  water  the  authorities  of  London  have  been  no  more 
successful  than  in  the  removal  of  the  sewage,  and  in  both  respects  they  might 


Fig.  90.— The  London  Sewers. 
Scale  1 :  250,000. 


2  Miles. 


have  advantageously  followed  the  example  of  Paris.  An  enormous  capital  has 
been  expended  in  the  construction  of  aqueducts,  reservoirs,  filtering  beds,  and  other 
appliances.  The  water  companies,  who  draw  most  of  their  supplies  from  the 
Thames,  have  grown  rich  and  powerful,  and  they  have  hitherto  successfully  resisted 
the  introduction  of  every  improvement. t  The  first  water  supply  of  London,  on  a 
large  scale  was  devised,  by  Peter  Morrys,  a  German,  who  put  up  a  water-wheel 
under  one  of  the  arches  of  London  Bridge.     This  wheel  was  set  in  motion  by  the 

*  J.  J.  Mechi,  Times,  September  27tli,  1878. 

t  Their  capital  amounts  to  Jl2,000,000  ;  their  annual  expenditure  to  £520,000;  their  income  to 
;B1,327,300.  They  supply  121,000,000  gallons  daily,  being  at  the  rate  of  28  gallons  per  head  of  the 
population. 


LONDON. 


173 


tidal  current,  and  worked  a  pump  which  forced  the  water  through  pipes  into  the 
streets  and  houses.  These  water  works  turned  out  a  great  success,  and  they 
disappeared  only  with  old  London  Bridge  in  1831.  In  1606  the  City  obtained 
an  Act  of  Parliament  for  bringing  a  stream  of  pure  water  from  Hertfordshire 
into  London,  but,  frightened  at  the  magnitude  of  the  task  which  they  had  under- 
taken, they  were  only  too  happy  when  Hugh  Myddelton  undertook  to  carry  out 

Fig.  91. — LoxDON :   Hyde  Park  and  the'  Serpentine. 


the  scheme  at  his  own  risk.  This  was  the  origin  of  the  'New  River  Company, 
one  of  the  most  successful  undertakings  in  the  world.  The  cost  of  this  enterprise 
only  amounted  to  £17,000  ;*  but  a  few  years  ago  a  single  share  of  the  company  was 
sold  for  £50,000.  At  the  present  time  the  London  water  supply  forms  the 
subject  of  serious  discussion,  and  various  schemes  have  been  brought  forward  for 
rendering  the  metropolis  independent  of  a  river  which  receives  the  sewage  of 
a  million  inhabitants.  It  has  been  proposed  to  collect  the  rain-water  which 
*  See  Timbs's  "  Curiosities  of  London." 


174  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

falls  on  Bagshot  Heath,  to  the  south-west  of  London  ;  or  to  draw  a  supply  of 
100,000,000  gallons  daily  from  the  head-streams  of  the  Severn,  180  miles 
distant;  nay,  even  to  construct  an  aqueduct,  some  250  miles  in  length,  for 
conveying  to  London  the  limpid  water  of  the  lakes  of  Cumberland.  There  can 
hardly  arise  a  question  of  cost  in  the  case  of  the  wealthiest  city  of  the  world, 
which  a  supply  of  pure  water  would  at  the  same  time  convert  into  the  most 
salubrious. 

Gas  was  first  introduced  into  the  London  streets  in  1807,  when  Winzor,  a 
native  of  Znaim,  in  Moravia,  experimentally  lit  up  one  side  of  Pall  Mall.  He 
and  his  supporters  were  incorporated,  in  1812,  as  the  Chartered  Gas  Company. 
At  the  present  time  there  are  six  gas  companies,  who  consume  an  immense 
quantity  of  coal,  and  effectively  light  up  London  during  the  night.*  The  electric 
light,  however,  is  invading  the  monopoly  hitherto  enjoyed  by  the  companies,  and 
its  use  in  streets,  warehouses,  and  public  buildings  is  becoming  almost  daily  more 
general. 

Superficial  observers  frequently  talk  of  the  uncertainty  of  life  in  London,  whilst 
that  city,  notwithstanding  the  bad  quality  of  some  of  the  water  supplied  to  it,  is 
in  reality  one  of  the  most  healthy  in  Europe,  and  certainly  that  one  among  the 
great  capitals  in  which  the  number  of  births  is  most  in  excess  of  the  number  of 
deaths. t  Four-fifths  of  the  annual  increase  of  the  population  of  London  are  due 
to  this  excess,  the  remainder  resulting  from  immigration.  It  is  more  especially 
the  natives  of  the  surrounding  counties  who  are  attracted  to  London,  and  the  gaps 
left  by  these  migrations  are  filled  up  by  an  inflow  from  the  more  remote  districts.  + 
Many  of  the  female  servants  of  London  are  included  amongst  these  immigrants. 
There  are  1,137  females  to  every  1,000  males.     It  is  said  sometimes  that  there 

*  The  six  companies  have  a  capital  of  £12,682,000;  they  annually  consume  1,560,000  tons  of  coal, 
and  produce  daily  about  42,000,000  cubic  feet  of  gas  of  an  illuminating  power  of  twelve  candles,  for  which 
they  charge  3s.  9d.  per  1 ,000  cubic  feet. 

t  Birth  rate  and  death  rate  in  a  few  large  towns  (1878)  :  — 

Biiths  to  1,000        Deaths  to  1,000 
living.  ,  living. 

London 36-2  23-5 

Paris _  24-6 

Berlin 41-8  29-9 

Vienna 38-0  29-6 

Rome 27-2  296 

X  The  population  of  London  according  to  birthplaces  (1871)  :— 

XT  >+•,         *  T       1  Number.  Per  Cent. 

Natives  of  London 2,055,576  63-2 

„  Middlesex,    Surrey,  Kent,   Essex,  Bucks, 

and  Herts 317,202  98 

Other  parts  of  England     ....  634,620  19-5 

„          Monmouth  and  Wales       ....  22,262  0*7 

^^'^tl'^^'l    •         • 41,'o29  1-3 

I^flf'id 91J71  2-8 

„         British  Colonies 25  494  0-8 

„         Foreign  countries 66,101  2-0 

Bom  at  sea j  205                   

Aniongst  the  foreigners  there  were  (exclusive  of  naturalised  British  subjects)  19,773  Germans,  10,719 
Frenchmen,  4,825  Dutchmen,  4,229  Poles,  2,287  Scandinavians,  &c. 


LONDON. 


175 


are  more  Scotchmen  in  London  than  in  Edinburgh,  and  more  Irishmen  than  in 
Dublin.  This  is  a  mistake,  though  the  Scotch  and  Irish  who  have  settled  in 
London,  together  with  their  descendants,  are  sufficiently  numerous  to  form  two 
very  respectable  towns.  The  number  of  Jews  is  more  considerable  than  in  any 
other  town  of  England.  Gipsies  have  permanently  established  themselves  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Dulwich  ;  whilst  in  the  east,  near  the  Docks,  we  meet  with 
representatives  of  nearly  every  nationality  on  the  face  of  the  globe,  including 
Hindus,  Malays,  Chinese,  and  Polynesians.  Nowhere  else  in  Europe  are  we  pre- 
sented with  equal  facilities  for  ethnological  study.  The  foreign  European  popu- 
lation of  London  is  proportionately  not  as  numerous  now  as  it  was  in  the  sixteenth 
century.*     Most  of  these  foreigners  come  to  London  in  search  of  business;  and 


Fig.  92 —Increase  by  Immigkation,  axd  Excess  of  Births  of  the  Large  Cities  of  Europe. 

According  to  Dunant. 


Inci-ease  due  to  Immigration 


I     I  Increase  due  to  an  excess  of  births. 


whilst  the  English  residents  at  Paris  have  gone  there  to  spend,  the  Frenchmen 
whom  we  meet  in  London  are  intent  upon  making  money.  Hence  the  striking 
contrasts  between  the  two  colonies,  which  are  not  those  of  race  only. 

In  order  to  gain  some  idea  of  the  immense  multitudes  of  London  it  is  by  no 
means  necessary  that  we  should  be  present  on  one  of  those  occasions  when  a  public 
procession  through  the  streets  attracts  its  multitudes,  or  take  part  in  the  festivities 
inseparably  connected  with  public  holidays.  It  is  quite  sufficient  to  visit  some  of 
the  leading  thoroughfares  of  the  City,  such  as  Cheapside,  Ludgate  Hill,  Cannon 
Street,  or  Lombard  Street,  during  business  hours.  Carriages,  omnibuses,  and 
vehicles  of  every  description  appear  at  first  sight  to  be  mixed  up  in  inextricable 

*  In  1580  there  were  6,502  foreigners  amongst  a  total  population  of  at  most  150,000  souls,  or  4*3 
per  cent.  ;  in  1871  there  were  66,101  foreigners,  equal  to  IZ'O  per  cent,  of  the  total  population. 


176  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

confusion ;   but  after  awhile  we  perceive  that  in  this  moving  chaos  there  are  two 
well-marked  currents,  fed  by  the  numerous  side-streets  as  by  so  many  affluents, 
and  that  these  currents,  though  flowing  in  opposite  directions,  carefully  avoid 
each  other.     Beneath  the  crowd  passing  along  on  the  tops  of  omnibuses  and  in 
carriages  there  moves  another  crowd,  which   glides  between   the  wheels,   dives 
beneath  the  horses'  heads,  and  flows  in  contrary  streams  along  the  pathways.    Now 
and  then  may  be  heard  the  dull  rumble  which  announces  the  arrival  of  a  train  ; 
the  railway  station  sends  forth  its  crowd  of  passengers,  and  these  are  quickly  lost 
amongst  the  greater  crowd  pouring  through  the  streets.     London  Bridge,  the 
principal  means  of  communication  between  the   City  and  Southwark,   is  daily 
crossed  by  at  least  300,000  persons,  and  from  year  to  year  the  trafiic  which  flows 
across  it  increases  in  bulk.*     Reconstructed  in  1825,  to  accommodate  the  grow- 
ing traffic,  it  has  become  necessary  since  to  widen  it  once  more,  in  order  that  it 
may  afford  a  channel  broad  enough  for  the  "  river  of  men  which  flows  across  the 
unconscious  river  beneath."  f    Standing  upon  this  bridge  and  looking  seawards,  we 
see  both  banks  fringed  with  a  forest  of  masts,  the  intervening  space  being  hardly 
wide   enough   for   the   manoeuvring   vessels,    carried   along    by   the   current   or 
struggling  against  the  tide.      Above  bridge  numerous  small  steamers,  crowded 
from  stem  to  stern  with  passengers,  appear  and  disappear  under  the  arches  of  a 
railway  bridge  quivering  almost  incessantly  beneath  passing  trains.     These  minia- 
ture steamers,  which  stop  every  instant  at  some  pier,  and  start  as  soon  as  they  have 
discharged  or  replenished  their  human  cargoes,  may  be  likened  to  moving  quays 
travelling  from  one  end  of  the  town  to  the  other. 

The  metropolitan  railways,  carried  along  high  viaducts  above  the  houses  or 
running  through  tunnels  and  deep  cuttings  beneath  them,  are  great  passenger 
high-roads,  in  no  way  inferior  to  the  streets  of  the  City,  and  far  more  important 
than  the  Thames.  The  number  of  passengers  who  arrive  daily  at  the  railway 
stations  of  London  cannot  be  less  than  a  million.  In  the  more  frequented  under- 
ground stations,  the  din  and  rumble  of  carriages  are  incessant,  and  hardly  has  a 
train  departed  before  another  makes  its  appearance.  Between  Brentford  and 
Greenwich,  Sydenham  and  Highgate,  there  are  no  lesS  than  150  stations,  great 
and  small,  and  all  the  quarters  of  the  town  have  been  placed  in  communication 
with  each  other  and  with  the  great  trunk"  lines  which  connect  London  with  the 
provinces.  All  but  the  local  traffic  is  carried  on  by  steam.  On  the  approaching 
completion  of  the  Inner  Circle,  it  is  proposed  to  attach  the  trains  to  cables  set  in 
motion  by  stationary  engines,  and  they  will  then  roll  along  without  intermission  like 
planets  in  their  orbit.  It  is  mainly  owing  to  these  facilities  for  rapid  locomotion 
that  London  has  been  able  to  spread- itself  over  the  surrounding  country,  much  to 
the  advantage  of  public  health.  If  the  aid  of  steam  had  not  been  invoked, 
London,  like  Paris  and  most  other  continental  towns,  would  have  been  compelled 
to  grow  in  height  by  placing  story  upon  story.  Nevertheless,  even  London  can 
show  a  few  of  those  huge  edifices  in  which  thousands  of  human  beings  live,  floor 

!'S^  1875  London  Bridge  was  crossed  daily  by  20,000  vehicles,  and  by  170,000  persons  on  foot, 
t  Charles  Dickens. 


LONDON. 


177 


above  floor,  within  a  narrow  area.  Sucli  is  the  gigantic  Midland  Hotel  at  the 
St.  Pancras  station,  a  huge  mass  of  brick  and  iron,  with  towers,  pavilions,  and 
triumphal  gateways  ;  such  also  are  the  other  hotels  constructed  for  the  convenience 
of  travellers  contiguous  to  the  great  railway  termini.  These  palaces  tower  high 
above  the  surrounding  houses,  but  they  are  scarcely  sufficiently  capacious  to 
accommodate  the  crowds  that  flock  to  them. 

So  prodigious  is  the  extent  of  London  that  there  exists  no  point  of  vantage 
where  the  whole  of  it  can  be  seen  spread  out  beneath  us,  even  though  the 
prospect  be  not  obscured   by  fog  or  smoke.      From  the  top  of  the  Monument 

Fig.  93, — Railways  of  London. 
Scale  1  :  350,000. 


raised  in  the  centre  of  the  City  we  merely  see  the  roofs  of  numberless  houses,  the 
steeples  of  hundreds  of  churches,  and  a  crescent- shaped  reach  of  the  river,  with  its 
bridges,  steamers,  and  forests  of  masts,  lost  on  the  horizon.  From  Primrose  Hill  or 
the  heights  of  Hampstead  or  Highgate,  on  the  north  of  London,  we  look  down  upon 
the  parks,  gardens,  and  villas,  beyond  which  extends  the  ocean  of  houses 
surmounted  by  the  cupola  of  St.  Paul's  ;  but  the  Thames  and  its  port  are  beyond 
the  reach  of  vision.  From  Greenwich,  or  from  the  tall  tower  of  the  Crystal 
Palace,  other  portions  of  the  metropolis  can  be  seen  or  divined,  but  the  greater  part 
of  London  is  always  excluded  from  the  immense  panorama.  In  order  to  obtain  a 
true  idea  of  the  prodigious  size  of  the  City  we  must  necessarily  explore  its  various 


178  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

quarters,  all  difFering  in  aspect  and    population.     London,  unlike  Paris   in  this 
respect,  has  no  collective  personality.     It  is  not,  strictly  speaking,  a  town  at  all, 
possessed  of  a  well-defined  individuality,  and  differing  in  any  marked  way  from 
the  towns  in  any  other  parts  of  Grreat  Britain.      Its  growth  has  heen  too  rapid  to 
enable  it  to  develop  a  well  defined  character  of  its  own.     Like  a  plant  whose  sap 
rises  too  quickly,  it  has  not  displayed  the  firmness  of  contour  and  special  phy- 
siognomy which  are  the  characteristics  of  organisms  of  slower  growth.     London, 
very  unlike  Paris  and  most  of  the  great   cities  of  the   continent,  has  not  grown 
around  a  kernel,  but  is  an  agglomeration   of  distinct  towns,  amongst  which  the 
City  of  London,  Westminster,  and  Greenwich  were  the  most  considerable.     The 
vast  metropolis  is  the  outcome  of  a  combination  of  numerous  towns  and  villages 
placed  in  contiguity  to  each  other.     This  mode  of  growth  prevented  London  from 
acquiring  a  distinct  personality.     It  is,  above  all,  an  assemblage  of  distinct  worlds 
— worlds  of  warehouses,  banks,  factories,  princely  residences  and  villas — each  world 
having  its  proper  physiognomy  and  history.    It  is  an  organism  with  several  centres  of 
life,  such  as  are  typified  by  the  Houses  of  Parliament,  Charing  Cross,  the  Bank 
of  England,  and  the  Docks.    But  nevertheless  nearly  all  its  quarters  agree  in  this — 
that  their  houses  are  constructed  of  the  same  material  and  covered  with  the  same 
layer  of  grime  resulting  from  the  smoke-laden   fogs.      Though  London  occupies 
a  geological  basin  similar  to  that   of  Paris,  it  does  not   enjoy  the  advantage  of 
having  quarries  of  limestone  and  gypsum  in  its  neighbourhood.      Hence  most  of 
its  houses  are  built  of  brick,  and  the  stone  for  the  more   monumental  buildings 
has  to  be  brought  from  quarries  situated  at  an  immense  distance.      The  rocks  of 
Yorkshire  furnished  the   limestone  required  for  the  construction  of  the  Houses 
of  Parliament;    Portland  supplied    the  materials  for  St.  Paul's  and  many  other 
buildings.      The  Tower  of  London  is  built  of  Caen  stone,  for  it  was  in  their  duchy 
of  Normandy  that  the  early  Kings  of  England  sought   the  materials  required  for 
raising  their  palaces  and  fortresses.     Even  now  a  considerable  number  of  vessels 
annually  leave  the  basin  of  the  Orne  laden  with  stone  for  London  builders.     But 
the  granite  and  limestone  of  the  monumental   buildings  are  covered  with  the  same 
coating  of  grime  which   disfigures    the  meaner  houses.       The  showers  of  soot 
discolour  even  the  leaves  of  trees,  the  lawns  and  garden  flowers,  and  a  few  years 
sufiice    to  blacken  the  walls  of  buildings.      It  is  matter  for  surprise  that  rich 
Englishmen,  so  scrupulously  careful  of  the  cleanliness  of  their  persons  and  homes, 
should  not  have  adopted  more  extensively  the  Portuguese  and  Brazilian  fashion  of 
covering  their  houses  with  glazed  bricks,  which  can  be  washed.     In  the  finer 
quarters  of  the  West-end,  however,  such  bricks  are  gradually  coming  into  vogue. 

London,  like  most  other  European  towns,  expands  principally  towards  the 
west,  for  it  is  from  that  direction  that  the  purifying  westerly  winds  blow 
during  the  greater  part  of  the  year.  There  are,  however,  other  circumstances 
which  have  caused  London  to  grow  in  the  direction  of  the  setting  sun.  The  soil 
on  that  side  is  solid,  whilst  swampy  lowlands  stretch  out  towards  the  east ;  the 
Thames  above  London  Bridge  can  be  crossed  more  easily  than  below  it;  and  houses 
have  been  built  in  preference  in  localities  where  the  communication  between  bank 


LONDON.  179 

and  bank  presents  the  least  difficulties.  It  results  from  this  that  the  centre  of  London 
is  continually  gravitating  towards  the  west.  The  Koman  milestone  which  may  still 
be  seen  in  the  wall  of  St.  Swithin's  Church,  opposite  Cannon  Street  station,  and  which 
probably  marked  the  spot  whence  the  roads  from  Londinium  to  the  other  towns  of 
Britain  diverged,  no  longer  occupies  the  centre  of  London,  nor  does  the  City. 
As  to  the  latter,  it  by  no  means  presents  that  aspect  of  antiquity  which  might  be 
expected.  London  is  essentially  a  modern  town,  even  in  those  parts  which 
occupy  the  site  of  the  Roman  Londinium,  six-sevenths  of  its  area  having  been 
devastated  by  the  great  fire  of  1666,  commemorated  by  a  monumental  column 
near  London  Bridge.  This  fire  destroyed  over  13,000  houses,  85  churches,  and  the 
Guildhall,  and  there  now  remain,  independently  of  the  Tower,  only  a  few  buildings 
anterior  in  date  to  the  seventeenth  century.  Most  prominent  amongst  these  are 
St.  Bartholomew's  Church,  portions  of  which  belong  to  the  time  of  Henry  I. ;  the 
beautiful  round  church  in  the  Temple,  constructed  between  1185  and  1240;  and 
St.  John's  Gate,  which  belonged  to  a  hospital  of  the  Knights  of  St.  John.  Another 
old  church  is  that  of  St.  Saviour's,  South wark,  near  the  southern  end  of  London 
Bridge.  The.  old  walls  which  formerly  surrounded  the  City  have  likewise  disap- 
peared, the  last  remaining  gate,  that  of  Temple  Bar,  having  been  demolished  quite 
recently,  on  account  of  its  impeding  the  traffic  which  flows  through  the  Strand  into 
Fleet  Street.  It  was  on  Temple  Bar  that  heads  of  traitors  were  exposed  to  the 
public  gaze  within  the  last  century.  The  gate  used  to  be  closed  whenever  the 
sovereign  approached  the  City,  the  Lord  Mayor  waiting  on  the  City  side, 
prepared  to  make  over  to  him  his  sword  of  office,  which  he  was  expected 
graciously  to  return. 

The  City,  like  the  central  quarter  of  Paris,  contains  a  considerable  number  of 
public  buildings,  but  its  most  striking  edifices  are  banks,  warehouses,  and  offices. 
These  palatial  structures  of  granite,  marble,  or  brick,  five  or  six  stories  in  height, 
are  situated,  for  the  most  part,  in  narrow  and  winding  streets  and  alleys. 
During  the  night  many  of  them  are  left  in  the  care  of  housekeepers  or  of 
the  police.  Early  in  the  morning  thousands  of  men  take  the  road  towards 
the  City  from  all  the  suburbs  of  London,  from  the  towns  in  its  neighbourhood, 
and  even  from  Brigjiton,  The  trains  deposit  their  freights  in  the  stations 
near  the  Bank,  omnibuses  contribute  their  due  contingent  of  passengers,  and 
the  streets  swarm  with  life.  More  than  a  million  of  human  beings  then  crowd 
this  hive  of  industry.  As  the  evening  approaches  the  tide  begins  to  retire. 
Trains,  omnibuses,  and  steamers  fill  once  more,  but  this  time  they  carry  their 
passengers  away  from  the  City.  There  remain  then  hardly  over  70,000 
residents,  where  only  a  few  hours  before  commercial  afiairs  of  interest  to  the 
entire  world  had  been  dealt  with.  More  than  2,000  houses  stand  almost 
empty.  The  number  of  residents  decreases  with  every  decade,  and  the  City  is 
more  and  more  becoming  exclusively  a  place  of  business.*    But  it  is  not  merely 

*  Population  and  inhabited  houses  of  the  City :  — 

1801         .         .     '   .         .         16,508  houses,  128,833  inhabitants. 

1861         .         .         .         .         13,298       „  112,063  „ 

1871         ....         5,309        „  74,732  „ 


180  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

a  desire  of  concentrating  the  transactions  of  commerce  in  this  quarter  that 
causes  the  resident  population  to  diminish,  for  thB  City  authorities,  by  opening 
wide  thoroughfares  through  the  districts  inhabited  by  the  poor,  work  towards  the 
same  end.  When  Farringdon  Street  was  extended  through  the  old  valley  of  the 
Fleet,  nearly  8,000  workmen's  families  found  themselves  homeless  at  a  single 
blow,  and  their  humble  dwellings  made  room  for  public  buildings,  railways,  and 
piles  of  offices.  In  the  course  of  the  last  forty  years  at  least  50,000  work- 
men have  in  this  manner  been  driven  out  of  the  City,  and  compelled  to  herd 
together  in  the  adjoining  districts.  The  number  of  paupers  has  grown  small 
in  the  City,  but  it  has  increased  all  the  more  rapidly  in  the  neighbouring 
parishes. 

The  very  poorest  quarters  of  London  have  immediate  contact  with  that  wealthy 
City,  which  not  many  years  hence  will  count  only  employes  and  housekeepers 
amongst  its  resident  population.  The  labyrinth  of  streets  around  the  Tower  and  the 
Docks  is  dreaded  by  the  stranger,  and  not  often  entered  by  the  Londoner  residing 
in  more  favoured  districts.  The  mud  is  carried  from  the  streets  into  the  passages 
of  the  houses ;  the  walls  are  bespattered  with  filth  ;  tatters  hang  in  the  windows  ; 
a  fetid  or  rancid  odour  fills  the  atmosphere  ;  while  most  of  the  men  and  women  you 
meet  in  the  streets  have  sunken  eyes  and  emaciated  limbs.  The  soiled  garments 
which  they  wear  have  originally  belonged  to  the  fine  ladies  and  gentlemen  of  the 
West -end  ;  they  have  changed  hands  ten  times  since  their  original  owners  parted 
with  them,  and  finish  as  rags  upon  the  bodies  of  the  inhabitants  of  Shadwell  and 
Wapping.  Certain  narrow  streets  in  Eotherhithe,  Bermondsey,  and  Lambeth,  to 
the  south  of  the  Thames,  are  likewise  the  seats  of  misery,  and  it  is  with  a  feeling 
of  relief  we  emerge  from  them,  and  obtain  a  sight  of  the  Thames,  of  some  wide 
thoroughfare,  or  of  a  public  park.  How  vast  is  the  contrast  between  these  wretched 
quarters  and  the  sumptuous  suburbs  ;  how  great  the  difference  in  the  modes  of  life 
of  the  inhabitants  and  the  burdens  they  are  called  upon  to  carry  !  The  annual 
death  rate  varies  between  14  and  60  to  every  1,000  persons  living,  according  to 
the  streets,  and  death  gathers  its  harvest  most'  rapidly  where  want  of  work,  of 
bread,  and  of  other  necessaries  facilitates  its  task.  The  misery  London  hides  is 
indescribable. 

The  districts  which  bound  the  City  to  the  north  and  east,  such  as  Spital- 
fields,  Bethnal  Green,  and  Clerkenwell,  are  principally  inhabited  by  artisans,  and 
separate  the  poorest  quarters  of  London  from  those  mainly  occupied  by  the  lower 
middle  classes.  The  houses  there  are  for  the  most  part  of  the  common  English 
type.  An  area,  6  to  10  feet  deep,  and  bounded  by  railings,  separates  the 
street  from  the  house.  A  flagstone  or  "  steps,"  thrown  across  this  "  ditch  "  like  a 
drawbridge  over  the  moat  of  a  fortress,  lead  to  the  entrance  of  what  has  very 
appropriately  been  described  as  the  Englishman's  "  castle."  Separate  steps 
usually  lead  down  into  the  area  and  to  the  kitchen  and  coal  cellar.  There  are  no 
"  spy-glasses,"  such  as  may  frequently  be  seen  in  the  Low  Countries,  and  the  sash- 
windows  towards  the  street  remain  obstinately  closed.  Flowers  usually  ornament 
the  rooms,  but  cannot  be  seen  from  the  street,  for  they  are  there  for  the  gratifica- 


LONDON.  IQj 

tion  of  the  owner,  and  not  for  that  of  casual  passers-by.*  The  house,  nevertheless 
is  a  hospitable  one.  If  its  outer  walls  are  blackened  with  soot,  the  steps  leading 
up  to  the  door  are  irreproachably  clean,  and  it  is  the  pride  and  ambition  of  London 
housewives  to  keep  them  so. 

Farther  west,  in  the  district  of  Marylebone,  the  houses  are  higher,  the  areas 
wider  and  deeper,  and  open  squares  planted  with  trees  more  numerous,  for  we 
there  already  find  ourselves  in  a  quarter  largely  inhabited  by  the  wealthier  middle 
class.  During  last  century  Marylebone  was  the  aristocratic  quarter,  which  has 
now  moved  westward,  to  the  neighbourhood  of  Hyde  Park  and  Kensington 
Gardens,  Belgravia  being  looked  upon  as  its  centre.  In  this  part  of  the  town 
every  square  or  street  presents  itself  architectually  as  a  whole.  There  are  streets 
lined  uninterruptedly  for  half  a  mile  and  more  with  porticoed  houses,  all  apparently 
forming  part  of  one  huge  building.  Elsewhere  the  residences  are  detached,  but 
they  still  resemble  each  other  in  size  and  architectural  accessories,  such  as  balconies 
and  conservatories.  The  genius  of  the  architects  is  only  occasionally  allowed  to 
reveal  itself  in  &ome  separate  building.  Acres,  nay,  square  miles,  are  covered  with 
houses  designed  on  the  same  pattern,  as  if  they  had  come  out  of  the  hands  of  the 
same  artisan,  like  the  chalets  in  a  Swiss  toy-box.  Their  stairs  and  fireplaces 
occupy  similar  positions  ;  their  mouldings  and  decorations  have  been  supplied  in 
thousands  by  the  same  manufacturer.  On  entering  such  -a  house,  there  is  no  need 
for  a  searching  examination  ;  its  internal  arrangements  are  rigidly  determined  in 
advance,  and  their  regularity  is  greater  than  that  of  the  cells  in  a  beehive.  Such  is 
the  inevitable  result  of  the  employment  of  large  capital  in  the  simultaneous 
construction  of  hundreds  of  houses.  An  exploration  of  the  new  quarters,  which 
cover  so  considerable  a  portion  of  the  county  of  Middlesex  to  the  west  of  older 
London,  makes  us  marvel  at  the  large  number  of  men  rich  enough  to  live  in  such 
luxurious  dwellings.  Broad  flights  of  steps,  carefully  kept  front  gardens,  rare 
flowers,  marble  terraces,  and  plate- glass  windows  enable  us  to  judge  of  the  wealth 
of  the  interiors ;  and  certes,  if  we  enter  one  of  these  houses,  we  find  that  carpets, 
curtains,  and  every  article  of  furniture  is  of  the  most  substantial  quality. 

Several  of  the  palatial  residences  in  the  older  parts  of  the  town  were  left 
behind  when  the  aristocracy  effected  their  exodus  to  the  westward,  and  they  now 
rise  like  islands  in  the  midst  of  the  quarters  invaded  by  commercial  London. 
Even  Buckingham  Palace  and  the  royal  palace  of  St.  James  lie  to  the  eastward 
of  Belgravia,  but  the  latter  of  these  is  merely  used  on  rare  occasions  of  state, 
whilst  Buckingham  Palace  is  perfectly  isolated,  being  surrounded  by  parks  and 
royal  private  gardens.  As  to  the  club-houses,  which  on  account  of  their  noble 
proportions  and  architectural  merits  are  undoubtedly  amongst  the  great  ornaments 
of  London,  they  have  naturally  been  built  in  that  part  of  the  town  where  parlia- 
mentary, aristocratic,  and  commercial  London  approach  nearest  to  each  other. 
St.  James's  Park  bounds  this  "  London  of  the  Clubs  "  in  the  south.  Regent  Street 
in  the  east,  and  Piccadilly,  one  of  the  great  seats  of  the  retail  trade,  in  the  north. 

*  We  fancy  windows  in  London  are  kept  closed  to  prevent  the  entrance  of  dust,  and  prized  flowers  are 
not  exposed  on  the  window-sill  because  the  London  atmosphere  does  not  usually  agree  with  them. — Ed. 


182 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


Of  all  the  old  buildings  of  London  the  Tower  is  the  most  venerable.  It  was 
erected  by  William  the  Conqueror,  to  the  east  of  the  City  and  on  the  banks  of  the 
Thames,  on  a  site  perhaps  previously  occupied  by  a  Roman  castle,  for  coins  of  the 
Empire  and  the  foundations  of  walls,  believed  to  be  very  ancient,  have  been  discovered 
there.  Looking  across  the  wide  moat  of  the  fortress,  now  laid  out  as  a  garden  and 
drill-ground,  there  rises  boldly  and  commandingly  the  glorious  old  pile  known  as 
the  "  White  Tower."  This  keep  of  the  ancient  fortress,  in  its  simple  grandeur, 
contrasts  most  advantageously  with  the  pretentious  buildings  of  more  modern  date 
which  surround  it.  Its  walls,  so  old  chronicles  tell  us,  were  "  cemented  with  the 
blood  of  animals,"  and  in  its  neighbourhood  the  blood  of  human  beings  has  been 
shed  most  freely.  Leaving  out  of  account  those  who  fell  on  both  sides  during 
revolutions  and  civil  wars  in  the  defence  or  attack  of  the  fortress,  as  also  the 
obscure    prisoners    who    were    murdered    within   its    precincts,    we   can    count 


Fig.  94.— Buckingham  Palace. 


many  personages  known  to  history  whose  heads  fell  on  Tower  Green,  close 
to  the  unpretending  church  of  St.  Peter  ad  Vincula,  or  on  Tower  Hill,  outside 
the  entrance  gate.  It  was  here  that  the  sovereigns  of  England  caused  to  be 
beheaded  rivals  to  kingly  power,  courtiers  of  whom  they  had  grown  tired,  wives 
whom  they  repudiated.  Here,  too,  perished  some  of  those  men  whose  names  are 
justly  venerated  in  England,  and  amongst  them  Algernon  Sidney,  whom 
Charles  II.  caused  to  be  executed  in  1685.  The  "  Bloody  Tower  *'  was  the  scene 
of  the  murder  of  the  children  of  Edward  IV.  The  history  of  the  Tower  is  that  of 
royal  crimes.  "  Upon  its  blackened  walls  are  painted,  in  lines  of  blood,  the  ambition 
of  Edward  L,  the  luxuriousness  of  Henry  YIIL,  the  fanaticism  of  Mary,  the  cruel 
vanity  of  Elizabeth."  Long  before  the  destruction  of  the  French  Bastille,  the 
Tower  of  London  had  twice  fallen  into  the  hands  of  a  revolted  people  ;  but  neither 
Wat  Tyler  nor  Jack  Cade  thought  of  demolishing  the  fortress,  which  up  to  1820 
served  as  a  state  prison.      The  Tower  is  now  used  as  an  arsenal  and  armoury, 


LONDON.  183 

and  the  royal  jewels  are  kept  there.  The  lions  of  the  Tower,  upon  whose  life, 
following  an  old  legend,  depended  that  of  the  sovereign,  were  transferred  in  1834 
to  the  Zoological  Gardens.* 

Westminster  Abbey,  around  which  was  built  the  city  of  the  same  name,  an  old 
rival  of  that  of  London,  is  less  ancient  than  the  Tower.  It  only  dates  back  to  the 
thirteenth  century,  but  it  rises  on  the  site  of  older  churches,  the  first  amongst 
which  was  encircled  by  an  arm  of  the  Thames,  long  since  dried  up.  "Westminster 
Abbey,  notwithstanding  modern  additions  and  restorations,  *is  one  of  the  most 
perfect  Gothic  churches  of  England,  one  of  those  whose  aspect  is  most  harmonious. 
The  interior,  though  too  much  cumbered  with  mortuary  monuments,  is  more 
especially  remarkable  for  its  boldness  and  airiness.  The  apsidal  chapel  of 
Henry  YII.,  in  which  the  Knights  of  the  Most  Noble  Order  of  the  Bath  used  to 
meet,  is  ablaze  with  light  and  decorations.     Arches  of  fairy -like  grace  support  the 

Fig.  95. — Westminster  Abbey. 


fretted  vault,  "  pendent  by  subtle  magic,"  a  marvel  of  constructive  skill.  West- 
minster Abbey  is  the  St.  Denis  and  Pantheon  of  England  thrown  into  one.  In  it 
most  of  those  men  whose  memory  is  venerated  by  the  nation  have  found  a  last  rest- 
ing-place, or  at  least  a  monument  has  been  erected  to  their  memory.  But  besides 
men  of  distinction,  how  many  are  there  not  who  have  found  a  place  in  this  edifice 
who  were  great  only  in  birth,  wealth,  or  in  their  own  conceit ;  and  in  addition 
to  works  of  the  sculptor's  art,  great  in  design  and  sober  in  taste,  how  frequently 
are  we  not  offended  by  ridiculous  allegories  and  boastful  inscriptions  !  Amongst 
the  most  remarkable  monuments  are  the  sarcophagus  of  Henry  VII.  and  his  wife, 
and  the  seated  statue  of  Lord  Mansfield  ;  but  who  could  pass  without  notice  the 
monuments  or  tombstones  of  Edward  the  Confessor,  Edward  III.,  Jane  Seymour, 
Mary  Stuart,  or  Queen  Elizabeth,  or  those  of  statesmen  such  as  Monk,  Canning, 
*  Hepworth  Dixon,  "The  Tower  of  London.'' 


184  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

Chatham,  Pitt,  Fox,  Warren  Hastings,  and  Robert  Peel,  whose  influences  upon  the 
destinies  of  the  nation  have  been  so  pronounced?  Newton,  Herschel,  Watt, 
Humphry  Davy,  Telford,  and  Young  are  buried  at  Westminster.  Here,  too,  are 
interred,  or  commemorated  by  monuments,  mostly  in  the  "Poets'  Corner,"  Chaucer, 
Ben  Jonson,  Camden,  Milton,  Butler,  Gray,  Spenser,  Addison,  Dryden,  Congreve, 


Westminster  Abbey:    Henry  VII. 's  Chapel. 


Thomson,  Casaubon,  Goldsmith,  Southey,  Macaulay,  Dickens,  Thackeray,  PaoH, 
Wilberforce,  Handel,  Kemble,  Mrs.  Siddons,  and  Garrick.  Lastly,  amongst  those 
who  have  made  the  earth  their  study,  are  Stamford  Raffles,  Rennel,  Chardin, 
Lyell,  and  Livingstone. 

Westminster  Abbey  has  survived,  notwithstanding  the  Reformation.    It  still  is 


LONDON.  185 

'in  possession  of  its  church,  chapter-house,  and  cloister,  has  retained  its  ancient 
institutions,  and  grown  in  wealth.  Its  Dean  is  a  prince  of  the  Church,  who  lives  in 
a  Gothic  mansion  adjoining  the  Abbey,  and  enjoys  an  annual  stipend  of  £2,000. 
The  Chapter  has  a  revenue  of  £60,000,  out  of  which  1,000  guineas  are  annually 
expended  upon  the  public  school  dependent  upon  it.  In  many  respects  this  West- 
minster School  resembles  a  grammar  school  of  the  sixteenth  century  rather  than  a 
modern  place  of  instruction.*  It  was  near  it,  in  the  old  Almonry  of  Westminster, 
that  William  Caxton,  before  the  year  1477,  set 'up  the  first  printing-press  in 
England. 

Close  to  the  ancient  abbey,  on  the  banks  of  the  Thames,  rises  Westminster 
Palace,  reconstructed  since  the  fire  of  1834,  to  serve  as  a  seat  for  the  two  Houses 
of  Parliament.  This  Gothic  edifice  is  one  of  the  vastest  in  the  world,  for  it  covers 
8  acres,  and  contains  more  than  a  thousand  rooms  of  all  sizes,  a  chapel,  and  2 
miles  of  corridors.  But,  for  all  this,  the  building  has  not  realised  the  expectations 
of  those  who  caused  it  to  be  constructed.  If  worthy  of  England  by  the  wealth  of 
its  decorations  and  its  size,  it  is  hardly  so  as  regards  its  beauty,  and  still  less  so 
with  respect  to  its  internal  arrangements.  Famous  Westminster  Hall,  a  remnant 
of  the  old  palace,  has  been  embodied  in  the  modern  structure.  It  is  a  superb  room, 
250  feet  in  length  and  68  in  width,  spanned  by  a  remarkable  roof  supported  on 
sculptured  rafters  of  chestnut-wood.  The  parliamentary  commission  charged 
with  the  selection  of  a  plan  is  said  to  have  vitiated  the  original  design  of 
the  architect.  Sir  Charles  Barry.  It  certainly  failed  in  selecting  a  stone  capable 
of  resisting  the  deleterious  efiects  of  the  London  climate.  The  magnesian  lime- 
stone from  Anston,  in  Yorkshire,  is  rapidly  crumbling  to  pieces,  and  had  to  be 
covered  with  silicates  to  stay  its  decay.  But  whatever  art  critics  may  say,  there 
are  parts  of  the  building  deserving  of  our  admiration,  nor  can  we  contemplate 
without  delight  the  long  facade  reflected  in  the  Thames,  the  slender  clock  tower 
with  its  gilded  roof,  or  the  more  compactly  built  Victoria  Tower,  rising  to  a  height 
of  336  feet,  and  commanding  all  surrounding  buildings. 

The  dome  of  St.  Paul's  Cathedral  rises  even  higher  than  the  towers  of  West- 
minster, and  stands  out  nobly  above  the  houses  of  the  City.  Of  all  the  monumental 
buildings  of  London  this  one  is  the  most  superb  of  aspect,  that  which  is  visible 
from  the  greatest  distance,  and  which,  owing  to  its  commanding  position,  is  best 
entitled  to  be  looked  upon  as  the  veritable  centre  of  the  metropolis.  This  edifice 
is  the  masterpiece  of  Christopher  Wren,  who  built  many  other  churches,  all  in 
different  styles,  as  if  it  had  been  his  aim  to  grapple  with  and  solve  all  the  problems 
which  present  themselves  to  the  architect.  The  edifice  was  raised  between  1675  and 
1710,  on  the  site  of  a  cathedral  swept  away  by  the  great  fire  of  1666.  Its  principal 
features  are  a  double  portico  of  coupled  columns,  forming  the  west  front,  and  a 
gigantic  dome  of  most  noble  proportions,  rising  to  a  height  of  360  feet,  including 
its  lantern.  Seen  from  the  Thames,  the  grandeur  of  this  dome,  hung  in  a  bluish 
haze,  is  best  brought  home  to  us.  But  the  interior  of  the  building  hardly  corre- 
sponds with  the  magnificence  of  its  external  features.  The  bare  walls  are  of  repellent 
*  Demogeot  et  Montucci,  "  De  I'Enseignement  secondaire  en  Angleterre  et  en  Ecosse." 
109— E 


186 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


coldness,  while  many  of  the  monuments  placed  in  the  nave  and  the  aisles  are  bad  in 
taste,  and  altogether  out  of  keeping  with  the  character  of  the  building.  Plans  for 
decorating  the  interior,  said  to  be  in  accordance  with  the  original  conceptions  of  the 
architect,  are,  however,  being  carried  out.  Military  and  naval  heroes  are  most 
prominent  amongst  those  to  whom  the  honour  of  interment  in  St.  Paul's  has  been 
accorded,  the  foremost  places  being  occupied  by  ]N'elson  and  Wellington.  By  their 
side,  room  has  been  found  for  a  large  band  of  scholars  and  artists,  including 
William  Jones,  Joshua  Reynolds,  Thomas  Lawrence,  Rennie,  and  last,  not  least. 
Sir  Christopher  Wren,  its  architect. 

There  are   in  London   about  1,200  churches,  chapels,  and   synagogues,  and 

Fig.  97.  — St.  Paul's  Cathedral. 


many  of  these  buildings  are  remarkable  for  their  purity  of  style,  which  the 
modern  English  architect  knows  how  to  imitate  with  great  aptitude,  or  for 
the  wealth  of  their  internal  decoration.  Amongst  the  multitude  of  its  other 
buildings,  including  palaces,  Government  offices,  theatres,  clubs,  hospitals,  and 
schools,  London  may  boast  of  several  distinguished  for  the  beauty  of  their  archi- 
tecture. Prominent  amongst  these  are  the  new  Courts  of  Justice,  close  to 
the  site  of  old  Temple  Bar ;  St.  Thomas's  Hospital,  opposite  the  Houses  of 
Parliament ;  Albert  Hall,  a  building  of  magnificent  proportions,  facing  the  gilt 
statue  of  the  Prince  Consort  on  the  southern  side  of  Kensington  Gardens; 
and  Somerset  House,  between  the  Strand  and  the  Victoria  Embankment.     But 


LONDON. 


187 


of  all  the  many  buildings  of  London  there  are  none  capable  of  conveying 
a  higher  notion  of  its  might  than  the  seventeen  bridges  which  span  the  Thames 
between  Hammersmith  and  the  Tower.  Some  of  these  are  built  of  granite, 
others  of  iron ;  they  all  vary  in  aspect,  and  are  sometimes  of  superb  propor- 
tions. Eight  of  them  are  met  with  between  Westminster  Palace  and  the 
Pool,  or  Port  of  London,  a  distance  of  less  than  2  miles  by  the  river,  and 
three  of  these  vibrate  almost  incessantly  beneath  the  weight  of  passing  railway 
trains.  Until  quite  recently  it  was  impossible  to  admire  these  bridges  without 
embarking  in  a  steamer  ;  but  the  Thames  has  now  been  "  regulated  "  for  a  con- 
siderable portion  of  its  course,  and  superb  quays  have  taken  the  place  of  fetid 
banks  of  mud,  left  dry  by  each  receding  tide.  The  Victoria  Embankment  now 
stretches  for  6,640  feet  from  Westminster  to  Blackfriars  Bridge.  Its  river  wall, 
of  solid  granite,  rises   40  feet  above   low  water,  and  rests   upon   a  foundation 

Fig.  98.  — Somerset  House  Axr>  the  Victoria  Emrankment. 


descending  to  a  depth  of  from  16  to  40  feet.  Public  gardens  and  rows  of  trees 
occupy  a  considerable  part  of  it,  and  gladden  the  eyes  which  formerly  turned  away 
with  disgust  from  wretched  hovels  and  narrow  alleys,  washed  by  the  turgid 
waters  of  the  Thames.  Upon  this  embankment  stands  "  Cleopatra's  Needle," 
one  of  the  forty-two  obelisks  known  to  exist  in  the  world.  It  was  brought 
thither  from  Alexandria.  Thanks  to  the  use  of  hydraulic  rams,  twenty-four 
men  were  enabled  to  raise  this  monument ;  whilst  Lebas,  in  1836,  employed  480 
persons  in  the  erection  of  the  Obelisk  of  Luxor  ;  and  Fontana,  in  1586,  required 
the  services  of  960  men  and  75  horses  to  poise  the  Needle  on  the  Piazza  di  San 
Pietro  ,at  Rome. 

Above  London  Bridge  numerous  bridges  facilitate  the  intercourse  between  the 
two  banks  of  the  river,  but  lower  down  the  Port  begins,  with  its  warehouses,  jetties, 
landing-stages,  and  cranes.      It  has  not  hitherto  been  found  feasible  to  throw  a 


188  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

bridge  across  the  river  below  London  Bridge  without  unduly  interfering  with  the 
traffic,  and  recourse  has  been  had  to  tunnels.  One  of  these  underground  passages, 
through  which  a  railway  now  runs,  has  become  famous  on  account  of  the  difficulties 
which  Brunei,  its  engineer,  was  compelled  to  surmount  in  the  course  of  its 
construction.  In  1825,  when  he  began  his  work,  his  undertaking  was  looked  upon 
as  one  of  the  most  audacious  effiarts  of  human  genius ;  for  experience  in  the 
construction  of  tunnels  had  not  then  been  won  on  a  large  scale,  and  nearly  every 
mechanical  appliance  had  to  be  invented.  Quite  recently  a  second  tunnel  has 
been  constructed  beneath  the  bed  of  the  Thames,  close  to  the  Tower.  Instead  of 
its  requiring  fifteen  years  for  its  completion,  as  did  the  first,  it  was  finished  in 
hardly  more  than  a  year  ;  its  cost  was  trifling,  and  not  a  human  life  was  lost 
during  the  progress  of  the  work.*  At  the  present  time  a  third  tunnel  is  projected 
for  the  Lower  Thames,  and  the  construction  of  a  huge  bridge  near  the  Tower  is 
under  discussion.  In  order  that  this  bridge  may  not  interfere  with  the  river 
traffic,  and  yet  permit  a  stream  of  carriages  to  flow  uninterruptedly  across  it,  it  is 
proposed  to  place  two  swing-bridges  in  its  centre,  which  would  successively  be 
opened  in  order  to  permit  large  vessels  to  pass  through. 

Amongst  the  public  buildings  of  London  there  are  many  which  are  not  visited 
because  of  their  size  or  architecture,  but  for  the  sake  of  the  treasures  which  they 
shelter.     Foremost  of  these  is  the  British  Museum — a  vast  edifice  of  noble  pro- 
portions, with  a  lofty  portico.     But  no  sooner  have  we  penetrated  the  entrance 
hall  than  we  forget  the  building,  and  have  eyes  only  for  the  treasures  of  nature 
and  art  which  fill  its  vast  rooms.     Its  sculpture  galleries  contain  the  most  admired 
and  most  curious  monuments  of  Assyria,  Egypt,  Armenia,  Asia  Minor,  Greece,  and 
Etruria.     It  is  there  the  lover  of  high  art  may  contemplate  with  feelings  akin  to 
religion  the  tombs  of  Lycia,  the  fragments  of  the  Mausoleum,  the  columns  from 
the  Temple  of  Diana  of  Ephesus,  the  Phygalian  marbles,  and  the  sculptures  of  the 
Parthenon.      Since   Lord   Elgin   in  1816   brought  these   precious   marbles  from 
Athens  to  the  banks  of  the  Thames,  it  is  to  London  we  must  wend  our  way,  and 
not  to  Hellas,  if  we  would  study  the  genius  of  Greece.     Here,  too,  we  find  the 
famous  "  Rosetta  stone  "  which  Young  sought  to  decipher,  and  which  furnished 
Champollion  with  a  key  for  readitig  the  hieroglyphics  of  Egypt.     Papyri  of  three 
and  four  and  perhaps  even  five  thousand  years  of  age,  and  the  brick  tablets  which 
formed  the  library  in  the  palace  of  Nineveh,  are  likewise  preserved  in  the  British 
Museum.    In  the  course  of  its  hundred  and  twenty-seven  years  of  existence  between 
1753  and  1880  the  British  nation  has  expended  upon  this  Museum  the  respectable  sum 
of  £5,600,000.    The  library  attached  to  the  Museum,  notwithstanding  its  1,500,000 
volumes,  is  as  yet  less  rich  than  the  Bibliotheque  Rationale  of  Paris,  but,  being 
liberally    supported,    it    increases    rapidly,    whilst    its    admirable    arrangements 
attract  to  it  scholars  from  every  part  of  the  world.     The  reading-room  itself,  a 
vast  circular  apartment  covered  by  a  dome  140  feet  in  diameter  and  106  feet  in 
height,  and  lit  up  during' the  evening  by  electric  lights,  is  deserving  our  admira- 
*  Brunei's  tunnel  cost  £464.715,  the  "  subway  "  near  the  Tower  only  £16,000.    The  former  consists, 
however,  of  two  arched  passages  1,200  feet  long,  14  feet  wide,  and  16^  feet  in  height  ;  whUst  the  latter, 
though  1,330  feet  in  length,  is  merely  an  iron  tube  of  8  feet  in  diameter. 


LONDON.  189 

tion.  In  it  are  arranged  a  classified  catalogue  in  a  thousand  volumes,  and  20,000 
works  of  reference,  freely  at  the  disposal  of  the  readers.  Unfortunately  the 
Museum  authorities  are  much  hampered  for  want  of  accommodation.  Some  of  the 
most  precious  sculptures  have  had  to  be  relegated  to  sheds  or  vaults,  and  many 
offers  of  donations  have  been  declined  owing  to  want  of  space.* 

The  National  Gallery  occupies  a  magnificent  site  in  Trafalgar  Square,  in 
which  artesian  wells  send  forth  fountains  of  water.  There  does  not,  how- 
ever, exist  another  building  in  London  which  stands  so  much  in  need  of  an 
apology.  True  it  is  stated  to  be  merely  a  temporary  home  for  the  great 
National  Gallery,  but  the  paintings  have  nevertheless  been  kept  there  for 
over  half  a  century.  The  National  Gallery  started  with  a  small  collection  of 
forty  paintings,  but  purchases  and  donations  have  caused  it  to  grow  rapidly.  In 
a  single  year  (1872)  seventy-seven  paintings,  of  the  value  of  £76,000,  were  added 
to  it,  and  it  includes  now  more  than  a  thousand  paintings,  together  with  several 
works  of  the  sculptor's  chisel.  The  large  funds  at  its  disposal  have  enabled 
its  trustees  to  secure  many  of  the  most  highly  prized  treasures  of  European 
collections.  The  old  Italian  schools  are  well  represented  in  this  gallery,  and 
paintings  of  the  older  masters  are  numerous,  including  the  "  Raising  of  Lazarus," 
the  joint  production  of  Sebastiano  del  Piombo  and  Michael  Angelo,  Correggio's 
'*  Mercury  and  Venus"  and  "  Ecce  Homo,"  and  various  paintings  by  Raffael  and 
other  Italian  masters.  We  meet,  likewise,  with  the  masterly  productions  of 
Velasquez,  Murillo,  Rembrandt,  Rubens,  and  Vandyck,  and  with  landscapes  by 
Ruysdael  and  Hobbema.  Two  paintings  by  Turner  have,  by  express  desire  of 
the  artist,  been  placed  side  by  side  with  two  similar  works  by  Claude  Lorraine. 
Dulwich  Gallery,  near  the  Crystal  Palace,  contains  valuable  paintings  by 
Murillo,  Velasquez,  and  the  Dutch  masters.  Very  considerable,  too,  are  the 
private  collections  in  London,  including  those  in  Bridgewater  House,  in 
Devonshire  House,  Grosvenor  House,  and  other  princely  mansions  of  the 
aristocracy. 

South  Kensington  Museum  possesses,  next  to  the  British  Museum,  the  largest 
number  of  priceless  art  treasures.  It  was  founded  in  1851  as  an  aid  towards  the 
development  of  art  industries,  in  which  the  English  were  confessedly  behind  some 
of  their  neighbours,  as  was  clearly  demonstrated  by  the  Exhibition  held  in  the  year 
named.  The  museum  includes  quite  an  agglomeration  of  buildings,  some  of  them 
of  a  provisional  character ;  but  a  permanent  edifice,  in  the  purest  style  of  Italian 
Renaissance,  is  rapidly  approaching  completion,  and  promises  to  become  one  of  the 
great  ornaments  of  London.  The  collections  exhibited  at  South  Kensington  include 
an  immense  variety  of  objects,  but  owing  to  the  provisional  nature  of  a  portion 
of  the  buildings,  it  has  not  yet  been  found  possible  to  classify  and  arrange  them  in 
a  thoroughly  satisfactory  manner.  Nevertheless  progress  is  being  made,  and  now 
and  then  the  eye  alights  upon  a  masterpiece  which  commands  admiration,  quite 

*  The  expenditure  of  the  Museum  amounts  to  £110,000  per  annum.  It  is  visited  annually  by  about 
650,000  persons,  of  whom  115,000  make  use  of  the  reading-room  for  purposes  of  research,  each  reader,  on 
an  average,  consulting  12  volumes  daily.     The  library  increases  at  the  rate  of  35,000  volumes  a  year. 


190  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

irrespective  of  the  locality  assigned  to  it.  Even  Florence  might  envy  South 
Kensino-ton  the  possession  of  some  of  the  best  examples  of  Italian  Renaissance,* 
most  prominent  amongst  which  are  seven  admirable  cartoons  by  Raffael,  which 
produce  almost  the  effect  of  fresco  paintings.  In  addition  to  the  articles  which  are 
the  property  of  the  museum,  there  is  exhibited  at  South  Kensington  a  most 
valuable  ''  loan  collection/'  intrusted  to  the  authorities  by  wealthy  amateurs,  in 
order  that  artists  and  the  public  may  study  its  contents.  Quite  recently  the 
museum  has  been  enriched  by  the  acquisition  of  the  larger  portion  of  the  contents 
of  the  old  India  Museum.  These  are  exhibited  in  a  series  of  rooms  overlooking 
the  gardens  of  the  Horticultural  Society,  and  nowhere  else  in  Europe  is  it  possible 
to  meet  with  a  larger  collection  of  objects  illustrating  the  history  and  private  life 
of  the  inhabitants  of  the  Ganges  peninsula.  South  Kensington  is,  indeed,  becoming 
a  '*  town  of  museums."  The  straggling  galleries  which  surround  the  gardens  of 
the  society  just  named  are  filled  with  all  kinds  of  objects,  including  huge  cannons, 
ships'  models,  educational  apparatus,  portraits  of  eminent  Englishmen,  an  anthro- 
pological collection,  and  maps.  The  new  Natural  History  Museum  occupies  an 
adjoining  site.  It  has  recently  received  the  precious  miner alogical,  geological, 
botanical,  zoological,  and*  anthropological  collections  of  the  British  Museum, 
which  are  the  delight  of  the  student,  and  some  of  the  objects  in  which — as,  for 
instance,  the  fossilised  Caraib  found  on  Guadaloupe — are  of  priceless  value.  The 
Patent  Office  Museum  adjoins  the  museum  of  South  Kensington,  and  contains,  in 
addition  to  numerous  models,  several  objects,  such  as  the  earliest  machines  and 
engines  constructed  by  Arkwright,  Watt,  and  Stephenson,  which  no  mechanician 
can  behold  without  a  feeling  of  veneration.  Parliament  has  at  all  times  shown 
favour  to  the  museum  in  South  Kensington,  by  willingly  granting  the  large  sums 
demanded  on  its  behalf  by  Government.  During  the  first  years  of  its  existence 
the  Department  of  Science  and  Art  was  enabled  to  spend  annually  between 
£160,000  and  £200,000  in  enlarging  its  collections.!  It  is  nevertheless  to 
be  regretted  that  a  museum  like  this,  which  is  at  the  same  time  a  school  of 
art  and  science,  should  have  been  located  in  one  of  the  aristocratic  suburbs 
of  London,  far  from  the  centre  of  the  town  and  the  homes  of  the  artisans 
who  were  primarily  intended  to  profit  by  its  establishment.  In  order  to  obviate 
this  disadvantage,  a  branch  museum  has  been  opened  in  the  industrial  suburb  of 
Bethnal  Green,  and,  besides  this,  the  art  schools  throughout  the  country  are 
supplied  with  loan  collections. 

London  is  particularly  rich  in  special  museums,  some  of  which  have  already 
been  referred  to.  Amongst  others  which  contribute  most  largely  to  the  progress 
of  science  we  may  mention  the  Geological  Museum  in  Jermyn  Street,  founded  by 
De  la  Beche,  and  John  Hunter's  Anatomical  Museum  in  the  College  of  Surgeons, 

*  Perrot,  Revue  dea  Beux-Mondes,  Mai  1,  1878. 

t  The  Science  and  Art  Department  of  South  Kensington  expends  annually  about  £330,000,  \n 
addition  to  wRioh  £40,000  are  voted  for  the  maintenance  of  the  museum,  and  a  considerable  sum  (in  1879 
£8,000)  for  buildings  in  course  of  construction.  The  expenses  of  the  National  Portrait  Gallery  and 
Patent  Museum,  though  popularly  supposed  to  form  part  of  the  South  Kensington  Museum,  are  defrayed 
from  other  sources. 


LONDON. 


191 


Lincoln's  Inn  Fields.  Several  of  the  learned  societies  boast  tlie  possession  of 
libraries  and  valuable  scientific  collections.  The  Royal  Society,  the  Geological 
Society  (the  first  of  the  kind  founded),  the  Anthropological  Institute,  the  Linnean 
Society,  and  more  especially  the  Royal  Geographical,  which  has  taken  the  initiative 
in  so  many  voyages  of  exploration— all  these  societies  prosper,  and  have  the 
command  of  revenues  which  enable  them  to  increase  their  collections  to  the  profit 


Fig.  99.— Kew  and  Richmond. 
Scale  1  :  65,000. 


20' 


W.of  G. 


15' 


iMile. 


of  science.*  The  Zoological  Society,  installed  in  a  portion  of  Regent's  Park,  owns 
the  finest  collection  of  living  animals  in  the  world,  and  attracts  annually  close 
upon  a  million  visitors.  There  are  Horticultural  and  Botanical  Societies,  both  in 
the  enjoyment  of  fine  gardens,  but  they  are  far  inferior  to  the  Botanical  Gardens 
at  Kew,  which  are  the  richest  of  their  kind  in  the  world,  and  are  maintained 


*  The  Eoyal  Geographical  Society  has  nearly  4,000  members,  and  enjoys  an  annual  income  of 
£12,000. 


192  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

with  the  greatest  liberality.  On  Sunday  afternoons  the  extensive  pleasure  grounds 
attached  to  them  are  crowded  with  visitors,  happy  to  escape  the  ennui  of  the 
town.  Three  museums  and  numerous  conservatories  are  scattered  within  its 
precincts.  A  winter  garden,  covering  an  area  of  an  acre  and  a  half,  is 
intended  to  afford  shelter  to  plants  of  the  temperate  regions.  The  palm  stove 
rises  to  a  height  of  QQ  feet,  and  walking  amongst  the  tropical  plants  which  it  con- 
tains, we  might  fancy  ourselves  transported  into  a  virgin  forest  of  the  New  World, 
if  it  were  not  for  the  roof  of  glass  visible  through  the  fan-shaped  foliage  above  our 
heads.  There  are  many  private  gardens  in  the  vicinity  of  London,  and  more 
especially  near  Chiswick,  which  almost  rival  Kew  in  the  extent  of  their  conserva- 
tories and  the  luxuriance  of  their  vegetation. 

As  to  the  Crystal  Palace,  which  occupies  an  eminence  to  the  south  of  London, 
in  the  midst  of  a  vast  garden  200  acres  in  extent,  it  is  essentially  a  place  of 
recreation.  The  building  contains,  no  doubt,  many  beautiful  imitations  of  works 
of  architecture  and  art,  but  the  character  of  the  entertainments  offered  to  the 
public  shows  only  too  plainly  that  amusement  is  the  principal  object  aimed  at. 
The  same  may  be  said  of  the  Alexandra  Palace,  commanding  a  magnificent  prospect 
of  woods  and  meadows  from  its  vantage-ground  on  Muswell  Hill.  Quite  recently, 
after  twenty- five  years  of  litigation,  the  City  of  London  has  obtained  possession 
of  Epping  Forest,  an  extensive  tract  of  woodland  to  the  north-east,  which  forms 
a  most  welcome  addition  to  the  public  parks  of  the  metropolis. 

London,  though  it  contains  one- eighth  of  the  total  population  of  the  British 
Isles,  is  not  the  seat  of  a  university,  like  Oxford  or  Cambridge,  or  even  Durham 
or  St.  Andrews.  True,  Sir  Thomas  Gresham,  a  wealthy  London  merchant,  devised 
extensive  estates,  about  the  middle  of  the  sixteenth  century,  for  the  purpose  of 
endowing  a  school  of  learning ;  but  this  legacy,  stated  to  be  actually  worth 
£3,000,000,*  was  wasted  by  its  guardians,  and  supports  now  merely  a  Col- 
lege where  lectures  are  occasionally  delivered  to  miscellaneous  audiences. 
The  University  of  London  is  not  a  teaching  corporation,  but  an  examining 
body,  which  dispenses  its  degrees  to  any  candidate  who  may  present  himself, 
without  exacting  any  other  conditions  than  his  competency.  But  though  the 
superior  schools  of  London  may  not  officially  occupy  the  same  rank  as  the  colleges 
of  Oxford  and  Cambridge,  they  nevertheless  turn  out  excellent  scholars,  and 
devote  more  especially  attention  to  experimental  science  and  the  exigencies  of 
modern  society.  Medicine,  almost  completely  neglected  in  the  old  universities,  is 
one  of  those  sciences  which  may  most  successfully  be  studied  in  London,  where 
there  are  eleven  medical  schools  connected  with  the  public  hospitals,  in  addition 
to  University  College  and  King's  College.  University  College  e:^cludes  religious 
instruction  altogether,  and  Hindus,  Parsees,  and  Jews  sit  side  by  side  with  their 
Christian  fellow-students  ;  whilst  King's  College  bases  its  course  of  instruction 
upon  the  principles  of  the  Church  of  England,  interpreted  in  a  spirit  of  liberality. 
Women  have  enjoyed  the  right  of  taking  part  in  the  course  of  education  of 
University   College  since    1869,  and   may   present   themselves   for    examination 

*  Times,  October  2nd,  1878. 


LONDON.  193 

before  the  authorities  of  the  London  University.  Besides  this,  there  are  three 
colleges  specially  established  for  the  higher  education  of  women. 

There  are  four  great  public  schools  for  boys — Westminster,  St.  Paul's,  Merchant 
Taylors',  and  Christ's  Hospital ;  numerous  middle- class  schools,  supported  by 
corporations,  societies,  or  endowments ;  and  a  multitude  of  elementary  schools. 
These  latter  are  in  a  great  measure  under  the  administration  of  a  School  Board 
elected  by  the  ratepayers,  and  it  will  convey  some  notion  of  their  importance  if 
we  state  that  they  are  attended  by  close  upon  half  a  million  of  pupils.* 

If  London,  notwithstanding  its  many  great  schools,  is  not  the  university  centre 
of  England,  and  is  bound  to  recognise  the  prerogatives  of  Oxford  and  Cambridge, 
it  may  at  all  events  claim  to  be  the  scientific,  literary,  and  art  centre  of  all  the 
countries  where  English  is  the  common  tongue.  It  publishes  more  books  than  any 
other  town,  is  the  seat  of  the  most  flourishing  scientific  societies,  possesses  the  most 
valuable  art  collections  and  the  most  famous  exhibition  galleries,  and  its  boards 
confer  distinction  upon  the  actors  who  appear  upon  them.  The  most  valued 
reviews  and  journals,  which  may  not  only  claim  to  be  the  "  fourth  estate  "  of  the 
realm,  but  also  sway  public  opinion  throughout  the  world,  are  published  in  London. 
The  newspaper  printing-offices  are  amongst  the  most  wonderful  industrial  establish- 
ments of  the  metropolis. 

London  does  not  hold  the  first  place  amongst  the  industrial  centres  of  the 
British  Isles.  It  is  not  the  equal  of  Manchester,  Birmingham,  Sheffield,  Leeds, 
or  Glasgow  in  any  special  branch  of  manufacture.  Yet,  if  the  workshops  and 
factories  scattered  through  the  various  quarters  of  London  could  be  combined 
to  form  a  town  by  themselves,  it  would  very  soon  become  clear  that  in  the  totality 
of  its  manufactures  the  metropolis  is  still  the  first  town  of  England,  and 
that  the  name  of  Cockneys,  contemptuously  applied  to  all  who  live  within 
the  sound  of  Bow  bells,  has  not  been  earned  through  a  life  of  idleness.  The 
majority  of  the  factories  lie  within  a  huge  semicircle,  which  bounds  the  City 
towards  the  east  and  south,  and  extends  from  Clerkenwell,  through  Spitalfields, 
Bethnal  Green,  Mile  End,  Eotherhithe,  and  Southwark,  to  Lambeth  ;  but  there  is 
not  a  quarter  of  the  town  where  workmen  engaged  in  some  useful  occupation  are 
not  to  be  met  with.t     London  is  more  especially  noted  for  its  pottery,  cutlery, 

*  Population  of  school  age,  Christmas,  1878 729,710 

Children  in  primary  schools 444,322 

Average  daily  attendance 350,507 

Total  expenditure  of  School  Board,  1879 £470,543 

t  Occupations  of  the  inhabitants  of  London  (1871) : — 

Males  and  Females 

Females.  only. 

General  and  Local  Government  .....  31.952  1,591 

Army  and  Navy 18,464  — 

Learned  Professions  (Literature,  Art,  and  Science)      .  96,096  37,781 
Persons    engaged    in    entertaining    and    performing 

personal  oflfices  for  man 314,7il  262,100 

Persons  who  buy  and  sell,  keep  or  lend  money,  houses, 

or  goods. 86,957  8,757 

Conveyance  of  men,  animals,  goods,  or  messages          .  134,014  1,096 

Agriculture         . 15,790  1,739 

Persons  engaged  about  animals  .....  12,907  124 

Industrial  classes 725,695  220,923 

Labourers,  &c 112,162  13,782 


194  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

fire-arms,  machinery  of  every  description,  watches,  jewellery,  and  furniture.  It 
builds  and  fits  out  vessels,  though  on  a  much-reduced  scale  since  the  introduction 
of  iron  steamers,  which  can  be  more  economically  produced  in  the  northern  ports. 
The  silk  industry,  first  introduced  by  French  Huguenots  towards  the  close  of  the 
seventeenth  century,  still  keeps  its  ground.  Tan-yards,  sugar  refineries,  and  dis- 
tilleries are  of  great  importance.  The  breweries  are  vast  establishments,  and  the 
excise  dues  exacted  from  them  considerably  swell  the  receipts  of  the  treasury. 
Nearly  all  of  them  have  secured  a  supply  of  pure  water  by  boring  artesian  wells, 
one  of  which  descends  a  depth  of  1,020  feet,  to  the  beds  of  the  lower  greensand. 
A  large  proportion  of  the  market  gardens  of  all  England  lie  in  the  vicinity  of 
London,  but  they  cannot  compare  with  those  to  be  seen  around  Paris. 

As  a  money  market  London  is  without  a  rival  in  the  world.  Even  France  can- 
not dispose  of  savings  equal  to  those  which  annually  accumulate  in  England,  which 
latter  enjoys,  in  addition,  the  advantages  accruing  from  the  universal  practice  of 
'  banking.  The  City  of  London  probably  has  at  its  immediate  command  a  capital 
equal  in  amount  to  what  could  be  furnished  jointly  by  all  the  other  money  markets 
of  the  world,  and  this  circumstance  enables  her,  to  the  detriment  of  other  countries, 
to  take  advantage  of  every  opportunity  for  realising  a  profit  that  may  present  itself 
in  any  quarter  of  the  globe  *  The  great  bankers  in  Lombard  Street,  the  worthy 
successors  of  those  Lombards  and  Florentines  who  first  initiated  Englishmen  into 
the  mysteries  of  banking,  are  applied  to  by  every  Government  in  distress,  by  mining 
and  railway  companies,  by  inventors  desirous  of  converting  their  ideas  into  ringing 
coin,  by  speculators  of  every  description.  There  are  but  few  Grovernments  which, 
in  addition  to  an  official  envoy  accredited  to  the  court  of  St.  James,  do  not  maintain 
a  representative  attached  to  the  money-lenders  in  Lombard  Street.  Thanks  to 
the  information  which  flows  into  London  as  the  centre  of  the  world,  the  City 
capitalists  are  the  first  to  learn  where  judicious  investments  can  be  made.  Nearly 
every  colonial  enterprise  is  "financed"  by  London;  the  mines  of  South  America 
are  being  worked  indirectly  on  behalf  of  the  bankers  of  the  City,  who  have  also 
constructed,  the  railways  and  harbours  of  Brazil,  the  Argentine  Confederation,  and 
Chili ;  and  it  is  the  city  which  nearly  all  the  submarine  telegraph  companies  of  the 
world  have  chosen  as  their  head- quarters. 

The  first  town  of  the  world  as  a  money  market,  London  ranks  foremost,  too,  as 
a  place  of  commerce  and  a  shipping  port.  It  is  the  greatest  mart  in  the  universe  for 
tea,  Coffee,  and  most  kinds  of  colonial  produce.  The  wool  of  Australia  and  Africa 
finds  its  way  into  its  warehouses,  and  foreign  purchasers  are  compelled  to  replenish 
their  supplies  there.  A  large  quantity  of  merchandise  only  reaches  continental 
Europe  through  the  port  of  the  Thames  as  an  intermediary.! 

*  W.  Bagehot,  "  Lombard  Street." 

t  Foreign  trade  of  London  (Exports  and  Imports)  :— 

l''^35         .         .         .  £333,160  1873         .         .         .         £184,759,500 

1~<^0         .         .         .        £10,000,000  1876         .         .         .         £186,700,000 

^791         •         •         •        £31,000,000  1879         .         .         .         £146,741,000 

1825         .         .         .        £42,803,145 

For  further  details  on  the  Trade  and  Shipping  of  London  we  refer  the  reader  to  the  Appendix. 


LONDON.  195 

The  commerce  whicli  London  carries  on  with  foreign  countries  has  increased 
twenty-fold  since  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century,  and  continues  to  increase 
with  every  decade.  The  Port  of  London  is  a  world  of  which  we  can  form  no 
notion  unless  we  enter  it.  In  fact,  legally  no  less  than  virtually,  the  whole 
estuary  of  the  Thames  belongs  to  it.*  It  is  bounded  on  the  east  by  an  ideal  line 
drawn  from  the  North  Foreland,  near  Margate,  through  the  Gunfleet  lightship  to 
Harwich  Naze.  A  few  of  the  small  ports  embraced  within  these  limits  enjoy  some 
local  importance,  but  are  nevertheless  mere  enclaves  of  the  great  port  of  London. 
They  are  outports  established  for  the  convenience  of  fishermen  and  traders,  and 
may  fairly  be  described  as  maritime  suburbs  of  London.  As  we  leave  the  Nore 
Light  behind  us  and  journey  up  to  London,  the  number  of  vessels  increases  rapidly. 
Not  a  group  of  houses  on  the  bank  but  a  cluster  of  vessels  may  be  seen  at  anchor 
in  front  of  it,  nor  a  jetty  but  its  head  is  surrounded  by  shipping  engaged  in  dis- 
charging or  receiving  cargo.  Above  Sheerness  the  banks  approach  each  other,  and 
higher  up  we  find  ourselves  upon  a  river  lined  for  miles  by  quays,  where  cranes  are 
steadily  at  work  hoisting  grain  from  the  holds  of  ships  into  granaries.  At  times 
we  are  hardly  able  to  distinguish  the  houses  along  the  banks,  so  closely  packed  is 
the  shipping,  and  at  frequent  intervals  long  rows  of  masts  may  be  seen  stretch- 
ing away  inland  until  lost  to  sight  in  the  distance.  These  rows  mark  the  sites  of 
docks. 

Towards  the  close  of  last  century  the  quay  at  which  it  was  legally  permitted 
to  discharge  certain  kinds  of  merchandise  only  extended  from  the  Tower  to 
Billingsgate,  a  distance  of  1,450  feet.  There  were  "tolerated"  quays  beyond 
these  narrow  limits ;  but  the  conveniences  for  landing  merchandise  were  of  so 
insufficient  a  nature  as  to  constantly  interfere  with  the  conduct  of  commerce. 
It  was  difficult,  moreover,  to  bring  order  into  piles  of  merchandise  deposited  upon 
the  quay,  and  the  losses  sustained  by  pillage  were  estimated  to  amount  annually 
to  nearly  half  a  million  sterling.  Most  of  the  vessels  were  detained  in  the  port 
for  weeks  and  months,  and  were  able  only  to  discharge  cargo  by  means  of  lighters 
communicating  with  the  shore. 

Such  a  state  of  affairs  could  be  permitted  to  exist  no  longer,  more  especially  since 
the  wars  of  the  French  Revolution  and  the  Empire  had  enabled  London  to  become 
the  intermediary  of  nearly  all  the  trade  which  was  carried  on  between  continental 
Europe  and  the  New  World.  The  merchants  of  London  resolved  upon  following 
the  example  set  by  Liverpool,  which  already  had  docks  surrounded  by  ware- 
houses, and  able  to  accommodate  not  only  ships,  but  also  their  cargoes.  After 
a  tedious  discussion  in  Parliament,  a  Joint-Stock  Company  was  founded  for  the 
purpose  of  providing  London  with  its  first  docks  The  site  selected  lay  at  the 
neck  of  the  peninsula  known  as  the  Isle  of  Dogs,  half-way  between  London 
and  Blackwall.  Pitt,  in  1800,  laid  the  foundation  stone.  The  site  was  well 
chosen,  for  vessels  drawing  24  feet  of  water  were  able  to  enter  the  new  docks, 
without  first  being  obliged  to  make  the  circuit  of  the  peninsula.  The  great 
success  of  these  docks  demonstrated  the  necessity  of  constructing  others.  These 
*  *'De  jure  maritimo  et  navali,"  1677. 


196 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


West  India  Docks  had  no  sooner  been  completed  than  the  East  India  Docks, 
originally  reserved  to  Indiaraen,  but  now  open  to  all  vessels,  were  taken  in 
hand.  Next  followed  the  London  Docks,  still  more  important  on  account 
of  their  proximity  to  the  City  and  the  vastness  of  their  warehouses,  more 
especially  designed  for  the  storage  of  rice,  tobacco,  wine,  and  spirits.  After 
these  were  constructed  the  St  Katherine  Docks,  on  the  same  bank  of  the 
river,  and  even  nearer  to  the  City  than  the  preceding.  In  proportion  to  their 
size  they  are  the  busiest  docks  of  London.  In  order  to  obtain  the  site  they 
cover  it  was  necessary  to  pull  down  1,250  houses,  inhabited  by  nearly  12,000 
persons. 

Since    then    works   more    considerable    still    have    been   carried    out.      The 
Victoria    Docks,  below  the  river    Lea,   only  recently  completed,  cover  an  area 


Fig.  100. — The  Docks  of  London. 
Scale  1  :  65.500. 


0  I  of  Gr. 


Mile. 


of  no  less  than  180  acres,  and  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  they  will  be  able, 
for  some  time  to  come,  to  meet  the  growing  requirements  of  commerce.  All  the 
docks  hitherto  mentioned  are  on  the  left  bank  of  the  river,  but  though  the  right 
bank  near  London  is  of  inferior  importance,  owing  to  its  remoteness  from  the 
City,  it,  too,  has  been  furnished  with  docks  for  the  storage  of  timber  and  corn. 
Lower  down,  the  right  bank  enjoys  a  commercial  preponderance,  for  on  it  rise 
Deptford,  with  its  huge  foreign  cattle  market,  Greenwich,  Woolwich,  Gravesend, 
Sheerness,  and  other  towns. 

The  Docks  of  London  do  not  at  first  sight  strike  the  beholder  as  much  as 
would  be  expected,  for  they  are  scattered  throughout  the  meanest  quarters  of  the 
town,  and  dwarfed  by  the  tall  warehouses  which  surround  them.  If  we  would  gain 
a  true  idea  of  the  prodigious  commerce  carried  on  within  them,  we  must  be  prepared 
to  spend  days,  nay,  weeks,  within  their  limits,  travelling  from  warehouse  to  ware- 


LONDON.  197 

house,  from  basin  to  basin,  inspecting  interminable  rows  of  vessels  of  every  size 
and  description,  examining  the  piles  of  merchandise  imported  from  every  quarter 
of  the  globe,  and  watching  the  loading  and  unloading  of  vessels,  Liverpool 
surpasses  the  capital  in  the  value  of  its  foreign  exports,  but  lags  far  behind  it  as  a 
port  for  the  importation  of  wine,  sugar,  and  colonial  goods  of  every  description. 
Altogether  London  is  still  the  superior  of  Liverpool,  even  though  the  shipping 
belonging  to  its  port  be  of  somewhat  inferior  tonnage 

London,  outside  the  City,  is  not  in  the  enjoyment  of  municipal  institutions, 
no  doubt  because  Parliament  dreads  creating  a  rival  which  might  overshadow  it. 
Commercial  and  financial  interests  have  their  natural  centres  there,  but  not  political 
ones.  For  purposes  of  local  government  London  is  divided  into  a  multitude  of  dis- 
tricts, which  in  many  instances  overlap  each  other.  So  great  are  the  confusion  and 
intricacy  of  these  administrative  jurisdictions  that  but  few  Londoners  take  the 
trouble  to  penetrate  their  mystery,  and  are  content  to  pay  the  rates  and  taxes 
on  condition  of  being  troubled  no  further.  The  legislature  has  handed  London 
over  to  the  tender  mercies  of  powerful  gas,  water,  and  railway  companies,  and 
given  life  to  not  a  single  local  representative  body  strong  and  powerful  enough 
to  assert  the  claims  of  the  ratepayers.  As  recently  as  1855  London  was  governed 
by  300  distinct  local  bodies,  counting  10,448  members,  and  exercising  their 
authority  by  virtue  of  250  Acts  of  Parliament.*  The  City,  which  alone  enjoys 
municipal  institutions,  forms  virtually  a  town  within  the  town,  whilst  the 
remainder  of  the  metropolis  is  governed  by  38  Local  Boards  or  Vestries,  30 
Boards  of  Guardians  for  the  administration  of  the  Poor  Laws,  a  Metro- 
politan Board  of  Works,  a  School  Board,  and  several  other  bodies,  wholly  or  in 
part  elected  by  the  ratepayers.  Even  the  Dean  and  Chapter  of  Westminster  still 
exercise  a  few  remnants  of  their  old  municipal  functions.  These  various  bodies 
count  no  less  than  8,073  members,  supported  by  an  army  of  local  officials.  But 
notwithstanding  this  strange  complication  of  the  official "  machinery,  and  the 
financial  confusion  necessarily  resulting  from  it,  London  spends  less  money  than 
Paris,  and  is  burdened  with  a  smaller  debt,  which  is  partly  accounted  for  by 
the  fact  that  most  of  the  great  public  works  have  been  carried  out  by  private 
companies,  and  not  by  the  town.t  The  Metropolitan  Police  force  +  is  under  the 
orders  of  the  Home  Secretary,  but  the  City  authorities  maintain  a  police  of 
their  own.§ 

The  Metropolitan  Board  of  Works,  whose  44  members  are  elected  by  the 
Corporation  of  the  City  of  London,  and  by  38  parishes  or  local  districts,  is 
the  most  important  of  these  local  governing  bodies.     It  has  charge  of  the  main 

*  Firth,  "Municipal  London;"  Dexter,  "The  Government  of  London ;  "  Raveusiein,  "London." 

t  In  1875  the  local  authorities  of  the  metropolis,  including  the  City,  expended  £9,071,000,  or 
£2  158.  9d,  per  head  of  the  population.  Of  this  sum  municipal  and  sanitary  objects  absorbed  £6,397,000, 
the  maintenance  of  the  poor  £1,723,000,  and  public  education  £895,000.  The  total  debt  amounted  to 
£22,688,000  (Captain  Craigie,  Journal  of  the  Statistical  Society,  1877).  In  1878  the  Metropolitan  Board  alone 
spent  £3,680,000,  and  had  a  debt  of  £10,310.000,  whilst  the  School  Board  spent  £1,189,713. 

X  10,900  officers  and  men.  In  1879  83,914  persons  were  arrested,  of  whom  33,892  were  drunk  or 
disorderly;  14,562  were  charged  with  burglary,  robbery,  &c. ;  and  10,866  with  assaults. 

§  825  officers  and  men. 


198  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

drainage,  the  formation  of  new   streets,   the  supervision  of  the   gas  and  water 
supply,  the  fire   brigade,*  and  the  public  parks    and   gardens.      But,  however 
great  its  influence,  it  is  overshadowed  by  the  powerful  corporation  which  has  its 
seat  in  the  City.     In  1835,  when  the  municipalities  of  the  kingdom  were  reformed, 
the  City  of  London  was  the  only  place  of  importance  exempted  from  the  opera- 
tion of  that  Act,  and  it  continues  to  enjoy,   up  to  the  present  day,   its  ancient 
privileges  and   immunities.      Old    English  customs    are  preserved   there   to   an 
extent  not  known  elsewhere,  except,  perhaps,  in  the  decayed  municipal  boroughs 
whose   maladministration  has  only   recently   been  exposed  in  Parliament.      The 
City  is  divided  into  26  wards,  and  these  into  207  precincts,   the  latter  consist- 
ing sometimes   of  a  single  street.      The  inhabitants   of  each  precinct,  whether 
citizens  or  not,  meet  annually  a  few  days  before  St.  Thomas's  Day,  when  the 
afi'airs  of  the  precinct  are  discussed,  and  the  roll  of  candidates  for  election  as 
common  councilmen  and  inquestmen  is  made  up.     The   *' Wardmote "  meets  on 
St.  Thomas's  Day  for  the  election  of  a  common  councilman,  and  of  other  officials, 
including  the  inquestmen  charged  with  the  inspection  of  weights  and  measures 
and  the  removal  of  nuisances.     At  this  meeting  only  freemen  of  the  City,  who 
are  also  on  the  parliamentary  voters'  list,  have  a  right  to  vote.     On  the  Monday 
after   Twelfth   Day  the    inquestmen  of  the   wards  attend   before    the   Court  of 
Aldermen  sitting    at   the  Guildhall,   when  the  common   councilmen  chosen  are 
presented.     The  wardmote  likewise  elects  the  aldermen,  but  for  life,  and  these, 
jointly  with  the  common  councilmen,  form  the  Court  of  Common  Council,  which 
thus  consists  of  233   members,  26  of  whom  are  aldermen.      The  Lord   Mayor, 
whose  election  takes  place  annually  on  the  29th  of  September,  presides  over  the 
Courts  of  Aldermen  and  of  Common  Council,  as  well  as  over  the  *'  Common  Hall  " 
of  the  Livery.     As  a  rule  the  senior  alderman  who  has  not  served  the  office  is 
chosen  Lord  Mayor,  the  privilege  of  nomination  being  vested  in  the  Common  Hall, 
that  of  election  in  the  Court  of  Aldermen,  and  the  same  person  generally  holds  the 
office  only  once  for  one  year.     The  election  is  formally  approved  by  the  Lord 
Chancellor  on  behalf  of  the  Crown.     On  the  8th  of  November  the  Lord  Mayor 
elect  is  sworn  in  before  the  Court  of  Aldermen,  and  invested  with  the  insignia  of 
his  office,  and  on  the  day  after,  "  Lord  Mayor's  Day,"  he  proceeds  in  state  to  the 
High  Court  of  Justice,  where  he  takes  the  oath  of  allegiance.     On  his  return  to 
the  City  the  procession  is  joined   by  the  Judges,   her  Majesty's  Ministers,  the 
foreign    ambassadors,  and  other  distinguished  persons,    to    be  entertained   at   a 
magnificent  banquet  at  the  Guildhall,  the  expenses  of  which  are  borne  jointly  by 
the  Lord  Mayor  and  the  two  Sheriffs.     The  Lord  Mayor  holds  the  first  place  in 
the  City  next  to  the  sovereign  ;  he  is,  ex  officio,  a  member  of  the  Privy  Council, 
a  Judge  of  the  Central  Criminal  Court,  a  Justice  of  the  Peace  in  the  metropolitan 
counties.  Lord- Lieutenant  and  Admiral  of  the  Port  of  London,  and  Conservator 
of  the  Thames.     In  order  to  assist  him  in  keeping  up  the  traditional  reputation 
of  the  City  for  hospitality,  he  is  allowed  an  annual  stipend  of  £10,000. 

*  505  men,  with  4  floating  fire-engines  on  the  Thames,  32  steam-engines,  112  manual  engines,  and 
129  fire-escapes.  Between  1,600  and  1,700  fires  break  out  annually,  but  of  these  less  than  200  are 
described  as  "serious." 


SUEREY.  199 

The  two  Sheriffs  are  elected  by  the  Livery  on  Midsummer  Day,  and  their 
office,  though  one  of  distinction,  is  costly,  for,  like  their  chief,  they  are  expected 
to  give  annually  a  number  of  dinners.  The  Recorder  of  London  is  the  chief  City 
judge  and  official  *'  orator  ;  "  the  Common  Serjeant  presides  in  the  City  of  London 
Court ;  an  Assistant  Judge  in  the  Lord  Mayor's  Court.  A  Chamberlain  acts  as 
City  Treasurer. 

Most  of  the  great  companies  date  from  the  thirteenth  or  fourteenth  century, 
though  they  spring,  no  doubt,  from  the  guilds  of  Saxon  times.  Originally  they 
were  associations  of  persons  carrying  on  the  same  trade  ;  but  they  are  so  no 
longer,  and  only  the  Apothecaries,  the  Groldsmiths,  the  Gunmakers,  and  the 
Stationers  are  still  charged  with  the  exercise  of  certain  functions  connected 
with  the  trade  they  profess  to  represent.  Out  of  a  total  of  79  companies,  73 
enjoy  the  distinction  of  being  "  Livery  Companies ; "  that  is,  the  liverymen 
belonging  to  them  are  members  of  the  Common  Hall.  An  order  of  precedence 
is  rigidly  enforced  by  these  companies,  at  the  head  of  which  march  the  Mercers, 
Grocers,  Drapers,  Fishmongers,  Goldsmiths,  Skinners,  Merchant  Taylors,  Haber- 
dashers, Salters,  Ironmongers,  Yintners,  and  Clothworkers.  Much  has  been 
fabled  about  the  enormous  income  of  these  companies,  and  there  can  be  no  doubt 
that  they  expend  large  sums  in  feasting.  It  must  be  said  to  their  credit,  at  the 
same  time,  that  all  of  them  support  charitable  institutions,  that  several  amongst 
them  maintain  excellent  schools,  and  that  if  they  do  feast,  they  do  so  at  their 
own  expense. 

Surrey. — A  large  portion  of  this  county,  with  three-fourths  of  its  inhabitants,  is 
included  in  the  metropolis,  and  nearly  the  whole  of  the  remainder  of  its  population 
is  more  or  less  dependent  upon  London  for  its  existence.  The  surface  of  the 
county,  with  its  alternation  of  hill  and  dale,  is  beautifully  diversified.  The  chalk 
range  of  the  Downs  intersects  it  through  its  entire  length,  forming  a  bold  escarp- 
ment towards  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Thames,  and  merging  to  the  southward 
into  the  Weald,  not  yet  altogether  deprived  of  the  woods  for  which  it  was 
famous  in  former  times.  The  Thames  bounds  the  county  on  the  north,  and 
the  tributaries  which  it  receives  within  its  limits,  including  the  Wey,  Mole, 
and  Wandle,  rise  to  the  south  of  the  Downs,  through  natural  gaps  in  which 
they  take  their  course  to  the  northward.  The  views  commanded  from  the 
Downs  and  from  the  hills  in  the  Weald  are  amongst  the  most  charming  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  London,  that  from  Leith  Hill  extending  over  a  wild  woodland 
scenery  to  the  English  Channel,  whilst  Box  Hill,,  near  Dorking,  possesses  features 
of  a  more  cultivated  cast.  The  Downs  are.  likewise  of  some  strategical  importance 
with  reference  to  the  metropolis,  to  the  south  of  which  they  form  a  natural 
rampart.  In  the  case  of  an  invasion  it  is  believed  by  military  men  that  the  fate 
of  London  will  depend  upon  the  results  of  a  battle  to  be  fought  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  the  "  passes  "  which  lead  through  them  at  Reigate  and  Dorking,  and 
propositions  have  been  freely  made  to  enhance  their  natural  strength  by  a  chain 
of  detached  forts.     Considerable  portions  of  Surrey  consist  of  barren  heaths  and 


200  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

moorish  tracts,  but  the  greater  part  of  the  county  is  devoted  to  agriculture  and 
market  gardening.  Hops  are  amongst  its  most  appreciated  productions.  The 
manufacturing  industry,  excepting  within  the  limits  of  London,  is  but  of  small 
importance. 

The  river  Wey,  which  pays  its  tribute  to  the  Thames  below  Weybridge, 
rises  in  Wiltshire,  and  soon  after  it  has  entered  Surrey  flows  past  the  ancient  town 
of  Farnham,  which  boasts  a  stately  moated  castle,  the  residence  of  the  Bishops  of 
Winchester,  and  carries  on  a  brisk  trade  in  hops  and  malt.  The  height  to  the 
north  of  that  town  is  occupied  by  the  camp  of  Aldershot,  whilst  below  it  the  Wey 
passes  Moor  Park,  where  Dean  Swift  wrote  his  "Tale  of  a  Tub  "  and  made  love  to 
Stella,  Lady  Giffard's  waiting-maid.  Here  also  are  the  beautiful  ruins  of  Waverley 
Abbey.  Between  Farnham  and  Guildford  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Wey  is  bounded 
on  the  north  by  the  "  Hog's  Back,"  a  link  of  the  Downs.  The  river  first  becomes 
navigable  at  Godalming,  which  retains  some  portion  of  the  stocking  manufacture 
for  which  it  was  formerly  celebrated,  and  has  recently  acquired  fresh  importance 
through  the  transfer  to  it  of  Charterhouse  School  from  London.  Below  this  town  the 
Wey  escapes  through  a  cleft  in  the  Downs.  This  cleft  is  commanded  by  the  town 
of  Guildford,  whose  antiquity  is  attested  by  a  Norman  castle,  a  grammar  school 
dating  from  the  time  of  Henry  VIIL,  and  an  interesting  old  church.  Guildford 
has  an  important  corn  market,  and  possesses  large  breweries.  In  the  beauty  of  its 
environs  few  towns  can  rival  it,  clumps  of  trees,  carefully  kept  fields,  ivy-clad 
walls,  and  shady  lanes  winding  up  the  hillsides,  combining  to  form  a  picture  of 
rural  beauty  and  tranquillity.  Only  a  short  distance  to  the  north  of  the  town  we 
enter  a  heathy  district  in  the  vicinity  of  Woking.  Before  leaving  this  south-western 
portion  of  the  county  there  remains  to  be  noticed  the  small  town  of  Haslemere, 
close  to  the  Hampshire  border,  which  manufactures  walking-sticks  and  turnery. 

Dorking,  10  miles  to  the  east  of  Guildford,  commands  another  gap  in  the 
northern  Downs,  and  is  seated  amidst  much-admired  scenery.  Near  it  are  Deep- 
dene,  the  seat  of  Mrs.  Hope,  full  of  art  treasures,  and  the  "Rookery,"  where 
Malthus  was  born  in  1776.  Dorking  is  noted  for  its  fowls.  The  Mole,  which  flows 
near  the  town,  derives  its  name  from  a  chain  of  •"  swallows "  into  which  it 
disappears  at  intervals.  It  runs  past  Leafherhead  and  Cohham,  and  enters  the 
Thames  at  Molesey,  opposite  Hampton  Court  Palace. 

Heigate,  near  a  third  gap  in  the  Downs,  which  here  bound  the  lovely  Holms- 
dale  on  the  north,  has  deservedly  grown  into  favour  with  London  merchants  as  a 
place  of  residence.  Near  its  suburb  Redhill  are  an  Asylum  for  Idiots  and  the 
Reformatory  of  the  Philanthropic  Society.  Fuller's  earth  is  dug  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood. 

Epsom,  in  a  depression  on  the  northern  slopes  of  the  Downs,  was  a  resort  of 
fashion  in  the  seventeenth  century,  when  its  medicinal  springs  attracted  numerous 
visitors.  The  famous  racecourse  lies  on  the  Downs  to  the  south  of  the  town,  and 
not  less  than  100,000  persons  have  assembled  on  it  on  Derby  Day.  Eicell,  a 
small  village  near  -Epsom,  has  powder-mills.  Near  it  is  Nonsuch  Park,  with  a 
castellated  mansion,  close  to  the  site  of  an  ancient  palace  of  King  Henry  VIII. 


SUEREY. 


201 


'  All  the  other  towns  and  villages  of  Surrey  are  hardly  more  than  suburbs  of 
the  great  metropolis.  Foremost  amongst  them  in  population  is  Croydon,  an 
ancient  town,  with  the  ruins  of  a  palace  of  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury  (who 
now  usually  resides  in  the  neighbouring  Addiugton  Park),  an  ancient  grammar 
school,  and  an  old  church  recently  restored.    The  Wandle,  which  flows  past  Croydon, 


Fig.  101. — Guildford  and  Godalmiko. 
Scale  X  :  63,000. 


Mile. 


affords  some  good  fishing,  and  in  its  lower  course  sets  in  motion  the  wheels  of  the 
paper  and  rice  mills  of  Wandsirorth,  a  south-western  suburb  of  London.  Other 
suburbs  are  Noricood,  3Iitcham,  Tooting,  and  Wimbledon,  on  the  edge  of  an  open 
gorse-covered  heath,  upon  which  the  National  Rifle  Association  holds  its  annual 
gatherings.     Amongst  the  towns  and  villages  seated  on  the  banks  of  the  Thames, 

110— E 


202  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

those  of  Putney,  Kew,  Richmond,  and  Kingston  (with  Surbiton)  are  of  world-wide 
renown.  The  park  near  Richmond  is  nearly  9  miles  in  circumference,  its  sylvan 
scenery  is  of  extreme  beauty,  and  many  fine  distant  views  are  commanded  from  it. 
Higher  up  on  the  Thames  are  Molesey,  Walton,  Weijhridge,  Chertsey,  and  Eghmn. 

Kent,  a  maritime  county,  stretching  from  the  Lower  Thames  to  the  English 
Channel,  is  of  varied  aspect,  and  the  beauty  of  its  scenery,  joined  to  the  variety 
and  nature  of  its  productions,  fairly  entitles  it  to  the  epithet  of  "The  Garden  of 
England,"  aspired  to  by  several  of  the  other  counties.  The  chalky  range  of  the 
northern  Downs  traverses  the  county  from  the  borders  of  Surrey  to  the  east  coast, 
where  it  terminates  in  bold  cliffs,  perpetually  undermined  by  the  sea.  These  Downs 
are  cleft  by  the  valleys  of  the  rivers  which  flow  northward  to  the  Thames,  or  into 
the  sea,  and  amongst  which  the  Darent,  the  Medway,  and  the  Stour  are  the  most 
important.  The  country  to  the  north  of  the  Downs  consists  of  gravel  and  sand 
overlying  the  chalk,  but  Shooter's  Hill  (446  feet),  near  Woolwich,  is  an  insulated 
mass  of  clay.  The  fertile  Holmsdale  stretches  along  the  interior  scarpment  of  the 
Downs,  and  separates  them  from  a  parallel  range  of  chalk  marl  and  greensand, 
which  marks  the  northern  limit  of  the  Weald,  within  which  nearly  all  the  rivers 
of  the  county  have  their  source.  Extensive  marshes  occur  along  the  Thames,  on 
the  isles  of  Grain  and  Sheppey,  along  the  estuary  of  the  Medway,  in  the  tract  which 
separates  the  Isle  of  Thanet  from  the  bulk  of  the  county,  and  on  the  Channel 
side,  where  Romney  Marsh,  famous  for  its  cattle  and  sheep,  occupies  a  vast  area. 

The  agricultural  productions  of  Kent  are  most  varied.  More  hops  are  grown 
there  than  in  any  other  part  of  England,  and  vast  quantities  of  cherries,  apples, 
strawberries,  and  vegetables  annually  find  their  way  to  the  London  market. 
Poultry  of  every  sort  is  large  and  fine  ;  the  rivers  abound  in  fish ;  while  the  native 
oysters  bred  in  the  Swale,  an  arm  of  the  sea  which  separates  the  Isle  of  Sheppey 
from  the  mainland,  are  most  highly  appreciated  for  their  delicate  flavour. 

Kent,  owing  to  its  proximity  to  the  continent,  was  the  earliest  civilised 
portion  of  England,  but  is  now  far  surpassed  in  wealth  and  population  by  other 
counties.  It  has  nevertheless  retained  some  of  its  ancient  customs  and  privileges, 
secured  through  the  stout  resistance  which  the  yeomanry  to  the  west  of  the  Med- 
way opposed  to  the  victorious  march  of  the  Conqueror.  Ever  since  that  time  the 
inhabitants  of  the  western  part  of  the  county  have  been  known  as  '*  Men  of  Kent," 
those  of  the  eastern  division  as  *'  Kentish  men."  Most  remarkable  amongst  these 
privileges  is  the  tenure  of  land  known  as  *'  gavelkind,"  in  virtue  of  which  an 
estate  descends  to  all  the  sons  in  equal  proportions,  unless  there  be  a  testamentary 
disposition  to  the  contrary. 

The  north- westernmost  corner  of  Kent,  including  the  large  towns  of  Deptford. 
Greenwich,  and  Woolwich,  lies  within  the  limits  of  the  metropolis.  The  famous 
dockyard  of  Deptford,  whence  Sir  Francis  Drake  started  upon  his  voyages  of 
adventure,  was  closed  in  1872,  and  most  of  its  buildings  are  utilised  as  cattle- 
sheds,  sheep-pens,  and  slaughter-houses,  for  it  is  here  that  all  foreign  cattle  must 
be  landed  and  slaughtered,  in  order  that  infectious  diseases  may  not  gain  a  footing 
in  the  country  through  their  dispersion.     The  Ravensbourne,  a  small  river  which 


KENT.  203 

rises  in  Caesar's  Well  near  Keston,  flows  past  the  old  market  town  of  Bromley y 
drives  the  mill-wheels  of  Lewisham,  and  separates  Deptford  from  Greenwich. 
Greenwich  is  celebrated  for  its  Hospital,  consisting  of  four  blocks  of  buildings  erected 
from  designs  by  Sir  Christopher  Wren.  The  invalided  sailors  for  whom  this  great 
work  was  erected  know  it  no  longer,  they  being  paid  a  pension  instead  of  being 
lodged  and  boarded,  and  their  place  is  now  occupied  by  the  Royal  Naval  College 
and  a  Naval  Museum.  The  old  refectory,  or  hall,  a  magnificent  apartment  of 
noble  proportions,  is  used  as  a  gallery  of  pictures  illustrating  England's  naval 
glories.  On  a  verdant  hill  which  rises  in  the  centre  of  Greenwich  Park,  laid 
out  by  Le  Notre,  there  stands  an  unpretending  building.  This  is  the  Royal 
Observatory,  rendered  famous  by  the  labours  of  Flamsteed,  Halley,  Bradley,  and 
Maskelyne,  who  have  found  a  worthy  successor  in  the  present  Astronomer-Royal. 
This  Observatory  is  fitted  out  with  the  most  costly  instruments.  The  initial  meridian 
almost  universally  accepted  by  mariners  throughout  the  world  passes  through  the 
equatorial  cupola  forming  its  roof  Strange  to  relate,  the  exact  difference  in 
longitude  between  Greenwich  and  Paris  is  not  yet  known.  It  probably  amounts 
to  2°  20'  15",*  but  authorities  differ  to  the  extent  of  400  feet. 

To  Greenwich  succeeds  Woolwich,  which  owes  its  growth  to  its  great  Arsenal, 
its  barracks,  Military  Academy,  and  other  establishments.  The  Arsenal  covers 
a  very  large  area,  and  is  a  great  repository  and  storehouse,  no  less  than  a  manu- 
factory, of  guns,  carriages,  and  warlike  materials  of  every  kind,  not  infrequently 
employing  10,000  workpeople.  The  dockyard  was  closed  in  1869,  and  is  now  used 
for  stores.  North  Woolwich  is  on  the  left  bank  of  the  river.  Shooter's  Hill,  to 
the  south  of  Woolwich  Common,  is  famous  for  its  views  of  London  and  the  valley  of 
the  Thames.  Charlton,  Blackheath,  and  Lee  are  populous  places  between  Woolwich 
and  Greenwich,  with  numerous  villa  residences.  Chislehurst,  a  few  miles  to  the 
south,  beautifully  situated  on  a  broad  common  surrounded  by  lofty  trees,  contains 
Camden  House,  once  the  residence  of  the  antiquary  after  whom  it  is  named. 
Napoleon  III.  retired  to  this  house,  and  died  there  an  exile. 

Descending  the  Thames  below  Woolwdch,  we  pass  village  after  village  along  the 
Kentish  shore,  whilst  the  flat  shore  of  Essex  is  but  thinly  peopled.  Immediately 
below  Plumstead  Marshes,  on  which  some  factories  have  been  established,  we 
arrive  at  the  pretty  village  of  Erith,  close  to  the  river  bank,  with  extensive 
ballast  pits  and  iron  works  in  its  rear.  Dartford,  a  flourishing  place,  where  paper- 
making  and  the  manufacture  of  gunpowder  are  extensively  carried  on,  lies  on 
the  river  Darent,  a  short  distance  above  its  outfall  into  the  Thames.  Other  paper- 
mills  are  to  be  met  with  at  St.  Mary^s  Cray,  on  the  Cray,  which  joins  the 
Darent  at  Dartford.  We  next  pass  Greenhithe,  near  which,  at  the  Swine's  Camp, 
(now  Swanscombe),  the  men  of  Kent,  led  on  by  Stigand  and  Egheltig,  offered  such 
stout  resistance  to  William  the  Conqueror.  Northjieet,  with  its  chalk  quarries, 
comes  next,  and  then  we  reach  Gravesend,  a  shipping  port  of  some  importance, 
situated  at  the  foot  of  gentle  hills.  The  fisheries  furnish  the  chief  employment  of 
the  seafaring  population,  and  most  of  the  shrimps  consumed  in  London  are  sent 
*  Hilgard,  "United  States  Coast  Survey,  Report  for  1874." 


204  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

up  from  Gravesend.  Amongst  the  many  seats  in  the  neighbourhood  of  this  town, 
Cobham  Hall,  in  the  midst  of  a  magnificent  park  almost  extending  to  the  Medway, 
is  the  most  important.  The  pleasure  grounds  of  Rosherville  lie  at  the  upper  end 
of  the  town.  A  ferry  connects  Gravesend  with  Tilbury  Fort,  on  the  northern 
bank  of  the  river,  where  Queen  Elizabeth  in  1588  mustered  the  forces  which  were 
to  resist  the  expected  invasion  of  the  Spanish  Armada.  Tilbury,  with  other 
formidable  works  of  defence  on  both  banks  of  the  river,  disposes  of  means  of 
destruction  which  would  frustrate  any  hostile  effort  to  reach  London  by  way  of 
the  Thames. 

Serenoaks,  in  the  fruitful  tract  known  as  the  Holmsdale,  in  the  western  part 
of  the  county,  is  famed  for  the  beauty  of  its  surrounding  scenery.  Knole,  one  of 
the  most  interesting  baronial  mansions,  adjoins  the  town,  whilst  Chevening,  full  of 
interest  on  account  of  its  historical  associations,  with  a  park  extending  up  to  the 
far- seen  Knockholt  beeches,  lies  4  miles  to  the  north-west.  Westerham,  to  the 
west  of  Sevenoaks,  near  the  source  of  the  Darent,  and  Wrotham,  to  the  north-east, 
at  the  southern  escarpment  of  the  Downs,  are  both  interesting  old  market  towns. 

The  Medway,  which  flows  through  a  region  abounding  in  picturesque  scenery, 
rises  close  to  the  famous  old  watering-place  of  Tunbridge  Wells,  which  owes  more 
to  its  bracing  air  than  to  the  medicinal  virtues  of  its  hot  chalybeate  springs.  In 
the  time  of  Charles  II.  the  visitors  to  this  place  were  lodged  in  small  cabins 
placed  upon  wheels,  and  the  first  church  was  only  built  in  1658.  The  neighbour- 
hood abounds  in  delightful  walks,  and  country  seats  are  numerous.  Pemhurst,  a 
quaint  old  village,  rises  on  the  Medway,  7  miles  to  the  north-east  of  the  Wells. 
Near  it  is  Penshurst  Place,  which  Edward  VI.  bestowed  upon  his  valiant  standard- 
bearer.  Sir  William  Sidney,  amongst  whose  descendants  were  Sir  Philip,  the  author 
of  ''Arcadia,"  and  Algernon  Sidney,  whose  head  fell  on  the  block  in  1683.  The 
Eden  joins  the  Medway  at  Penshurst.  A  short  distance  above  the  junction  stands 
Hever  Castle,  the  birthplace  of  the  unfortunate  Anne  Boleyn. 

Tunhridge,  at  the  head  of  the  navigation  of  the  Medway,  is  a  town  of  con- 
siderable antiquity,  with  the  remains  of  a  castle  (thirteenth  century),  a  grammar 
school  founded  in  1553,  and  several  timbered  houses.  Wooden  articles  known  as 
Tunbridge-ware  are  made  here,  and  hops  are  grown  in  the  neighbourhood.  The 
centre  of  the  Kentish  hop  gardens,  however,  is  Maidstone,  lower  down  on  the 
Medway,  an  interesting  old  town,  with  many  gabled  houses  and  other  ancient 
buildings.  In  1567  French  refugees  introduced  the  linen  industry  into  Maidstone, 
but  that  town  is  at  present  noted  only  for  its  hop  trade.  Annually  during  the 
"picking  season"  thousands  of  labourers  from  London  invade  it  and  the  sur- 
rounding villages. 

Maidstone  is  the  assize  town  of  the  county,  but  yields  in  population  to  the 
triple  town  formed  by  Rochester,  Strood,  and  Chatham.,  on  the  estuary  of  the 
Medway.  Pochester  is  the  oldest  of  these  three.  It  is  the  Dubris  of  the  ancieat 
Britons,  the  Durobrhw  of  the  Romans,  the  Rqfsceaster  of  the  Saxons.  Close  to 
the  river  rises  the  massive  keep  of  the  Norman  castle  erected  in  the  time  of 
William  the  Conqueror  by  Bishop   Gundulph,   the  same  who  built    the  Tower 


KENT.  205 

of  London,  as  also  the  cathedral  of  Rochester.  Chatham  is  a  naval  and  military- 
town.  Its  dockyard  is  the  largest  in  the  kingdom,  next  to  that  of  Portsmouth, 
and  has  been  constructed  in  a  great  measure  by  convict  labour.  Extensive 
lines  of  fortifications  and  detached  forts  envelop  the  three  towns,  and  no  second 
De  Ruyter  would  now  dare  to  sail  up  the  Medway  and  carry  off  the  vessels 
sheltered  by  its  fortifications. 

Not  the  least  formidable  of  these  have  been  erected  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Medway,  10  miles  below  Chatham,  on  the  isles  of  Grain  and  Sheppey.  The 
former  is  in  reality  only  a  peninsula,  whilst  the  latter  is  separated  from  the  rest 
of  the  county  by  a  shallow  arm  of  the  sea,  known  as  the  Swale.  Sheerness 
occupies  the  north-west  point  of  the  island,  and  its  guns  command  the  entrances 


Fig.   102. — ROCHESTEK   AND    CHATHAM. 
Scale  1  :  250,000. 


^^w 


^^^ 

te^^      •^#- 


0-25' 


0'3Q' 


E.ofG. 


2  Miles. 


of  both  the  Thames  and  the  Medway.  The  site  of  the  town,  a  quaking  swamp, 
which  had  to  be  solidified  by  piles  before  houses  could  be  built  upon  it,  is  by  no 
means  healthy  by  nature,  but  by  planting  pines  the  sanitary  conditions  of  the 
town  and  its  neighbourhood  have  been  much  improved.  Queenhorough,  close  to 
Sheerness,  has  recently  come  into  notice  as  the  point  whence  a  mail-steamer  daily 
departs  for  Flushing.  The  stream  of  passengers,  however,  flows  past  this  ancient 
town  without  leaving  any  mark  upon  it.  At  Siftingbourne  the  train  which 
conveys  them  to  London  joins  the  main  line  from  Dover.  Sittingbourne,  and  its 
neighbour  Milton,  the  latter  at  the  head  of  a  small  creek,  have  paper-mills, 
breweries,  brick-kilns,  and  malting-houses.  Faversham,  at  the  head  of  another 
creek,  like  that  of  Milton  tributary  to  the  Swale,   has  paper-mills,  brick-kilns. 


206  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

gun-cotton  and  gunpowder  works,  and  oyster  beds.  It  is  the  shipping  port  of 
Canterbury,  and  a  place  of  considerable  antiquity,  with  an  old  abbey  church  of 
great  size  and  beauty.  Whitdable,  another  shipping  port  of  Canterbury,  lies 
farther  to  the  east,  and  is  principally  noticeable  for  its  oyster  beds.  The  owners 
of  the  oyster  fisheries  here  have  formed  a  co-operative  association,  which  divides 
the  produce  of  the  fisheries  amongst  its  members. 

The  northern  coast  of  Kent,  and  more  especially  the  Isle  of  Thanet,  presenting 
its  bold  cliffs  towards  the  German  Ocean,  abounds  in  watering-places  much 
frequented  by  London  pleasure-seekers.  Heme  Bay,  though  of  recent  origin,  is 
rapidly  rising  into  importance.  A  few  miles  to  the  east  of  it  the  towers  of 
Eeculver  Church  form  a  prominent  landmark  (see  p.  151).  Margate,  on  the 
northern  coast  of  the  Isle  of  Thanet,  is  one  of  the  most  popular  watering-places 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  London.  Doubling  the  North  Foreland,  with  its  far-seen 
lighthouse,  we  pass  Broadstairs,  a  quiet  place,  with  excellent  sands  for  bathing, 
and  reach  Ramsgate,  a  town  which  is  almost  as  much  frequented  as  Margate,  and 
which  has  an  excellent  harbour.  Pegwell  Bay,  which  adjoins  it  on  the  south,  is 
noted  for  its  shrimps. 

The  river  Stour  is  tributary  at  present  to  the  bay  just  named,  but  formerly 
flowed  into  the  arm  of  the  sea  which  separated  the  Isle  of  Thanet  from  the 
mainland.  Sandicich,  a  very  interesting  old  town,  with  many  curious  buildings, 
stands  on  the  alluvial  tract  through  which  the  Stour  takes  its  winding  course. 
Formerly  it  was  a  place  of  very  considerable  importance,  ranking  next  to  Hastings 
amongst  the  Cinque  Ports,  but  the  alluvial  soil  washed  down  by  the  river  has 
silted  up  the  "  Haven,"  and  the  sea  lies  now  at  a  distance  of  2  miles.  A  short 
distance  to  the  north  of  it  rise  the  ruins  of  the  Roman  castle  of  Rutupice  (Rich' 
borough),  perhaps  the  most  striking  relic  of  old  Rome  existing  in  Britain.  Near 
its  head  the  Stour  flows  past  Ashford,  where  there  are  the  extensive  railway  works 
of  the  South-Eastern  Company;  but  the  largest  town  within  its  basin,  and  historically 
the  most  interesting  of  all  Kent,  is  Canterbury^  the  Durovernum  of  the  Romans. 
Canterbury  is  perhaps  the  oldest  seat  of  Christianity  in  England,  and  the  venerable 
church  of  St.  Martin's,  with  its  ivy-clad  tower,  partly  constructed  of  Roman 
bricks,  has  been  styled  the  "  mother  church  of  England,"  and  dates  back  to  pre- 
Saxon  times.  Since  the  days  of  St.  Augustine,  Canterbury  has  been  the  seat  of 
the  Primate  of  all  England,  though  at  present  the  Archbishop's  principal  residence 
is  Lambeth  Palace  in  London.  Churches  and  ecclesiastical  buildings  of  every  kind 
abound  in  Canterbury,  and  constitute  its  individuality.  The  bold  mass  of  the 
cathedral  towers  above  all.  Founded  in  1070,  but  destroyed  by  fire  in  1174,  the 
vast  edifice  has  been  almost  completely  rebuilt  since  the  latter  year.  The 
church,  as  it  were  "  a  cathedral  within  a  cathedral,"  is  the  work  of  William  of 
Sens  (1174—1182),  and  the  oldest  example  of  the  pointed  style  in  England.  The 
choir  is  rich  in  precious  monuments,  including  that  of  Edward  the  Black  Prince. 
The  shrine  of  Thomas  a  Becket,  who  was  slain  at  the  foot  of  the  altar  by  order  of 
Henry  II.  for  braving  the  royal  authority  (1170),  was  a  goal  which  attracted 
pilgrims  from  all  parts  of  the  world,  and  Canterbury  grew  rich  on  the  ofl'erings  of 


KENT.  207 

all  Christendom.  Canterbury  no  longer  holds  its  ancient  rank  as  a  place  of 
commerce  and  industry,  notwithstanding  the  navigable  river  upon  which  it  stands 
and  the  five  railways  which  converge  upon  it.  As  a  wool  and  hop  market  it  is 
still  of  some  importance,  but  the  industries  introduced  by  French  or  Flemish 
refugees  in  the  sixteenth  century  have  ceased  to  be  carried  on,  and  the  population 
diminishes.  But  notwithstanding  this,  Canterbury,  with  its  many  churches  and 
ancient  walls,  now  converted  into  public  walks,  remains  one  of  the  most  interesting 
and  picturesque  towns  of  England. 

The  smiling  town  of  Deal  rises  on  the  east  coast  of  Kent,  opposite  the  dreaded 
Goodwin  Sands,  and  is  separated  from  them  by  the  roadstead  of  the  Downs.  The 
boatmen  of  Deal  are  renowned  for  their  daring,  and  only  too  frequently  are  their 
services  called  into  requisition  by  vessels  in  distress.  Of  the  three  castles  which 
Henry  YIII.  built  for  the  defence  of  the  town,  that  of  Sandown  was  pulled  down 
in  1862,  owing  to  the  inroads  made  by  the  sea,  that  of  Deal  is  now  in  private 
occupation,  whilst  Walmer  Castle  continues  the  official  residence  of  the  Lord 
Warden  of  the  Cinque  Ports — an  honorary  office,  held  in  succession  by  some  of 
the  most  distinguished  men  of  the  kingdom.  The  great  Duke  of  Wellington  died 
in  this  castle  in  1852. 

Dover,  which  retains  in  French  its  ancient  Celtic  appellation  of  Douvres, 
occupies  a  commanding  position  directly  opposite  to  the  cliffs  rising  along  the  coast 
of  France.  It  is  one  of  those  towns  which,  notwithstanding  historical  vicissitudes, 
the  shifting  of  sandbanks,  and  the  changes  of  currents,  are  able  to  maintain  their 
rank  as  places  of  commerce.  Its  port,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Dour,  which  enters 
the  sea  betw^een  steep  cliffs,  offers  the  greatest  facilities  to  vessels  crossing  the 
strait.  Dover  is  the  only  one  of  the  Cinque  Ports  which  has  not  merely  retained  its 
traffic,  but  increased  it,  and  this  is  exclusively  due  to  the  mail-steamers  which 
several  times  daily  place  it  in  communication  with  Calais  and  Ostend.*  Dover 
Harbour  scarcely  suffices  for  the  many  vessels  which  fly  to  it  during  stress  of 
weather,  and  proposals  for  its  enlargement  are  under  discussion.  The  Admiralty 
Pier  is  a  noble  work,  extending  700  feet  into  the  sea.  It  is  composed  of 
enormous  rectangular  blocks,  formed  into  a  wall  rising  perpendicularly  from  the 
sea.  A  vertical  pier  like  this  is  exposed  to  all  the  fury  of  the  waves  lashed  by  a 
storm,  but  the  recoiling  waves  enable  vessels  to  keep  at  a  safe  distance.  A 
powerful  fort  has  been  erected  at  the  termination  of  the  pier ;  for  Dover  is  a 
fortress,  no  less  than  a  place  of  trade.  A  picturesque  castle  occupies  a  command- 
ing site  to  the  north.  It  consists  of  structures  of  many  different  ages,  including 
even  a  Roman  pharos,  or  watch-tower.  Other  heights,  crowned  with  batteries  and 
forts,  command  the  castle.  Only  a  short  distance  to  the  north  of  Dover,  near 
St.  Margaret's  Bay  and  the  South  Foreland,  preliminary  works,  with  a  view  to  the 
construction  of  a  railway  tunnel  between  France  and  England,  have  been  carried 
out.  It  can  no  longer  be  doubted  that  this  great  work  is  capable  of  realisation. 
The  rocks  through  which  the  tunnel  is  to  pass  are  regularly  bedded.,  and  without 

*  Over  180,000  passengers  annually  cross  from  Dover  to  Calais,  as  compared  with  135,000  who  go 
from  Folkestone  to  Boulogne. 


208 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


"faults.''     Will  our  generation,  fully  occupied  in  wars  and  armaments,  leave  the 
honour  of  once  more  joining  England  to  the  continent  to  the  twentieth  century  ? 

Folkestone,  under  the  shelter  of  a  chalky  range  known  as  the  "  backbone  "  of 
Kent,  possesses  advantages  superior  to  those  of  Dover  as  n,  watering-place,  but  ranks 
far  behind  it  as  a  place  of  commerce.  Its  trade  with  Boulogne  is,  nevertheless, 
of  considerable  importance,  and  its  fine  harbour  affords  excellent  accommodation 
to  mail-steamers  and  smaller  craft.  Folkestone  was  the  birthplace  of  Harvey,  the 
discoverer  of  the  circulation  of  the  blood,  whose  memory  has  been  honoured  by  the 
foundation  of  a  scientific  institution.  Walking  along  the  top  of  the  cliffs  which 
extend  to  the  west  of  Folkestone,   we  pass  the  pretty  village  of  Sandgate  and 

Fig.  103.— Dover. 
Scale  1 :  110,000. 


Depth  under  5  JTathoms, 


5  to  1 1  Fathoms. 


11  to  16  Fathoms. 
^— ^  2  Miles. 


Over  16  Fathoms. 


ShorncUffe  camp,  and  reach  Hythe,  one  of  the  Cinque  Ports.  Hythe  signifies 
"  port,"  but  the  old  town  is  now  separated  by  a  waste  of  shingles  from  the  sea,  and 
its  commerce  has  passed  over  to  its  neighbour,  Folkestone.  Hythe  is  the  seat  of 
a  School  of  Musketry,  and  the  low  coast  westward  is  thickly  studded  with  rifle- 
butts.  The  "Royal  Military  Canal  extends  from  Hythe  to  Eye,  in  Sussex,  and 
bounds  the  Eomney  Marsh,  famous  for  its  sheep,  on  the  landward  side.  The 
principal  town  in  this  tract  of  rich  meadow  land  is  New  Romney,  one  of  the  Cinque 
Ports,  though  now  at  a  distance  of  more  than  a  mile  from  the  sea.  Ujdd  and 
Dymchurch  are  mere  villages,  interesting  on  account  of  their  antiquity.  There 
now  only  remains  to  be  mentioned  the  ancient  municipal  borough  of  Tenterden,  in 
a  fertile  district  on  a  tributary  of  the  Rother. 


ESSEX.  209 

Essex  is  a  maritime  county,  separated  from  Kent  by  the  Thames  and  its 
estuary,  from  Middlesex  and  Hertfordshire  by  the  rivers  Lea  and  Stort,  and  from 
Suffolk  by  the  Stour.  Of  the  rivers  which  drain  the  interior  of  the  county, 
the  Roding  flows  into  the  Thames,  whilst  the  Crouch,  Blackwater,  and  Colne 
are  directly  tributary  to  the  German  Ocean.  These  latter  expand  into  wide 
estuaries,  forming  convenient  harbours,  and  are  famous  for  the  breeding  of 
oysters.  The  surface  of  the  country  is  for  the  most  part  undulating.  A  small 
tract  of  chalk  occurs  in  the  north-west,  but  loam  and  clay  predominate,  and 
form  gentle  slopes.  The  coast  is  much  indented  and  broken  up  into  flat 
islands.  It  is  fringed  by  marshes  protected  by  sea-walls  and  drainage  works. 
Most  of  the  ancient  forests  have  been  extirpated,  and  it  is  only  quite  recently 
that  the  most  picturesque  amongst  them,  that  of  Epping,  narrowly  escaped 
destruction  through  the  public-spirited  action  of  the  Corporation  of  London. 
Agriculture  constitutes  the  chief  occupation,  the  requirements  of  the  metro- 
politan markets  largely  influencing  its  character.  Manufactures,  particularly 
of  baize,  were  formerly  carried  on  upon  a  large  scale,  but  are  now  of  small 
importance.  The  flsheries,  however,  together  with  the  breeding  and  feeding  of 
oysters,  constitute  one  of  the  sources  of  wealth. 

West  Ham,  which  includes  Stratford  and  other  places  near  the  river  Lea,  in 
the  south-western  corner  of  the  county,  is,  properly  speaking,  an  eastern  suburb 
of  the  metropolis,  where  numerous  industries,  some  of  them  not  of  the  most 
savoury  nature,  are  carried  on.  The  Royal  Victoria  and  Albert  Docks  here 
extend  for  nearly  3  miles  along  the  northern  bank  of  the  Thames,  between  the 
Lea  and  North  Woolwich,  and  near  them  are  iron  works,  ship- yards,  and  chemical 
works.  Stratford  has  extensive  railway  works,  oil  and  grease  works,  gutta  percha 
factories,  and  distilleries.  Plaistow  is  noted  for  its  market  gardens.  Walthamstow, 
a  short  distance  to  the  north,  and  on  the  western  edge  of  Epping  Forest,  early 
became  a  favourite  residence  with  opulent  citizens,  and  has  still  many  quaint  old- 
fashioned  mansions  embowered  in  trees.  Waltham,  on  the  Lea,  is  famed  for  the 
remains  of  its  ancient  abbey.  An  old  bridge  connects  that  part  of  the  parish 
which  lies  in  Essex  with  Waltham  Cross,  in  Hertfordshire,  named  from  one  of  the 
crosses  erected  to  mark  the  resting-places  of  Queen  Eleanor's  body.  The  Govern- 
ment gunpowder-mills  are  built  above  Waltham  Abbey,  on  a  branch  of  the  Lea. 
They  cover  an  area  of  160  acres,  and  the  various  buildings  are  separated  by 
meadows  and  woods,  as  a  safeguard  against  accidents.  Harlow,  now  a  quiet  market 
town  on  the  Stort,  a  tributary  of  the  Lea,  formerly  carried  on  the  manufacture  of  silk. 

Epping  Forest,  which  lies  between  the  Lea  and  the  Upper  Roding,  is  named 
after  a  pleasant  market  town,  the  vicinity  of  which  is  famed  for  its  dairy  farms. 
Descending  the  Roding,  we  pass  Chipping  Ongar,  Wanstead,  Ilford,  and  Barking, 
where  are  the  remains  of  a  Cistercian  abbey,  not  far  above  the  mouth  of  the 
river.  Romford,  on  the  Rom,  which  enters  the  Thames  lower  down,  is  well  known 
for  its  brewery.  The  ancient  town  of  Brentwood  lies  to  the  east  of  it,  in  the 
midst  of  fine  scenery.  Its  old  Elizabethan  assize-house  is  at  present  in  the 
occupation  of  a  butcher.     There  is  a  grammar  school,  founded  in  1557. 


210  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

There  are  no  towns  of  note  along  the  Essex  bank  of  the  Thames.  Hainham, 
on  the  river  Ingrebourne,  about  a  mile  from  it,  is  the  heart  of  a  fertile  market- 
gardening  district.  It  has  an  early  Norman  church.  Purfleet  is  merely  a  small 
village,  with  lime  and  chalk  quarries,  and  a  Government  powder  magazine. 
Tilbury,  opposite  Gravesend,  with  its  old  fort,  has  already  been  referred  to.  Thames 
Raven,  joined  to  London  by  a  railway,  has  not  acquired  the  hoped-for  importance, 
since  foreign  cattle  are  now  obliged  to  be  landed  at  Deptford  ;  and  only  Southend, 
near  the  mouth  of  the  Thames,  has  made  any  progress  as  a  watering-place.  At 
Shoehiiryness,  3  miles  to  the  east  of  it,  a  Royal  School  of  Gunnery  for  artillery 
practice  has  been  established. 

The  only  towns  on  the  Crouch  are  Billericay,  a  pretty  market  town,  and 
Burnham,  which  engages  in  fishing  and  oyster-breeding,  on  the  estuary  of  the 
river. 

The  Blackwater  rises  in  the  north-western  part  of  the  county,  and  flows 
past  Braintree,  Coggeshall,  Kelvedon,  and  Witham  to  Maldon,  where  it  is  joined 
by  the  Chelmer.  Braintree  is  an  old  town,  with  narrow  streets  and  many  timbered 
houses.  The  manufacture  of  crape  and  silk  is  still  extensively  carried  on  there, 
and  in  the  adjoining  village  of  Booking.  Coggeshall  has  manufactories  of  silk, 
plush,  and  velvets.  The  remains  of  the  Cistercian  abbey  founded  here  by  King 
Stephen  in  1142  are  scanty.  Near  Kelvedon  is  Tiptree  Hall,  Mr.  Mechi's 
experimental  farm,  which  attracts  strangers  from  every  part  of  the  world.  Maldon 
occupies  a  steep  eminence  by  the  river  Chelmer.  Its  port  is  accessible  to  vessels  of 
200  tons  burden,  and  a  brisk  coasting  trade  is  carried  on  through  it.  Maldon  is  a 
very  ancient  town,  and  amongst  its  buildings  are  a  church  of  the  thirteenth 
century  with  a  triangular  tower,  and  a  town-hall  of  the  reign  of  Henry  VII. 
Malting,  brewing,  and  salt-making  are  carried  on.  Near  the  town  are  the  remains 
of  Billeigh  Abbey,  and  below  it,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Blackwater,  is  the  village  of 
Bradtvell,  the  site  of  the  Roman  Othona. 

Chelmsford,  the  county  town,  stands  at  the  junction  of  the  navigable  Chelmer 
with  the  Cann.  St.  Mary's  Church,  partly  dating  back  to  the  fifteenth  century, 
the  free  school  endowed  by  Edward  YI.,  the  museum  and  shire-hall,  are  the 
most  interesting  buildings.  Chief  Justice  Tindal,  whose  statue  stands  in  front 
of  the  shire-hall,  was  a  native  of  Chelmsford.  Agricultural  machinery  is  made, 
and  the  trade  in  corn  is  of  importance.  Great  Bunmow  and  Thaxted  are  market 
towns  on  the  Upper  Chelmer,  and  both  have  interesting  old  churches. 

Colchester,  on  the  Colne,  8  miles  above  its  mouth  at  Brightlingsea,  is 
the  largest  town  in  Essex,  and  occupies  the  site  of  Colonia  Camelodumm,  the 
first  Roman  colony  in  Great  Britain.  Ample  remains  of  Roman  times  still 
exist  in  the  town  wall ;  whilst  the  keep  of  the  old  Norman  castle,  double 
the  size  of  the  White  Tower  of  London,  the  ruins  of  St.  Botolph's  Priory 
Church,  and  St.  John's  Abbey  Gate,  the  last  relic  of  a  Benedictine  monastery 
founded  in  1096,  adequately  represent,  the  Middle  Ages.  The  museum  in  the 
chapel  of  the  castle  is  rich  in  Roman  and  other  antiquities.  The  Port  or 
'*  Hythe  "  of  Colchester  is  too  shallow  to  admit  the  huge  vessels  in  which  most 


ESSEX. 


211 


of  the  world's  commerce  is  carried  on  now,  and  the  maritime  trade  is  consequently 
not  of  very  great  importance ;  nor  is  the  silk  industry  in  a  flourishing  condition. 
The  celebrated  Colchester  oysters  are  taken  in  the  Colne,  and  fattened  on 
" layings''  at  Wivenhoe  and  Brightlingsea,  or  carried  to  the  oyster  parks  of 
Ostend.     Halstead,  on  the  Upper  Colne,  has  silk  and  crape  mills. 

Sailing  along  the  coast,  we  pass  Clacton  and    Walton-on- the-  Naze ,  two  small 
watering-places,  and  reach  the  ancient  seaport  and  bprough  of  Harwich,  built  in  a 


Fig.  104.— Harwich  and  Ipswich  and  their  Estuaries. 
Scale  1  :  325,000. 


,a|  80 


an     E.ofG. 


mwm 

Foreshore. 


Depth  under  2^ 
Fathoms. 


2\  to  5  Fathoms 


Over  5  Fathoms. 


4  MUes. 


commanding  position  at  the  confluence  of  the  Stour  and  the  Orwell.  The  harbour  of 
Harwich  is  the  best  on  the  east  coast  of  England,  and  during  the  wars  with  the 
Dutch  it  played  a  prominent  part.  Through  the  establishment  of  a  regular  line 
of  steamers,  which  connect  it  with  Antwerp  and  Rotterdam,  it  has  recently 
acquired  importance  as  a  place  of  commerce.  Landguard  Fort  and  several 
batteries  defend  its  approaches.  Dovercourt  is  a  pleasant  watering-place  a  short 
distance  above  Harwich.  Marwingtree,  at  the  head  of  the  estuary  of  the  Stour, 
carries  on  some  trade  in  malt. 


teytti 

^M 

m 

^ 

M 

^^^ 

K 

m 

m 

S 

^^ 

CHAPTER  YII. 

EAST  ANGLIA. 
(Suffolk  and  Norfolk.) 

General  Features. 

HE  two  counties  of  Norfolk  and  Suffolk  form  a  distinct  geographical 
region,  extending  along  the  shore  of  the  German  Ocean,  from  the 
shallow  bay  known  as  the  Wash  as  far  as  the  estuary  of  the 
Stour.  Originally  these  counties  were  conquered  and  settled  by 
the  Angles,  and,  together  with  Cambridgeshire,  they  formed  the 
kingdom  of  East  Anglia,  which  submitted  in  823  to  the  sovereignty  of  the  King 
of  Wessex,  but  was  for  a  considerable  time  afterwards  governed  by  its  own  kings 
or  ealdormen.  Subsequently  many  Danes  settled  in  the  country,  which  was 
included  in  the  "  Danelagh." 

In  East  Anglia  we  meet  with  no  elevations  deserving  even  the  name  of  hills. 
The  bulk  of  the  country  is  occupied  by  chalky  downs,  known  as  the  East  Anglian 
Heights,  and  forming  the  north-eastern  extremity  of  the  range  of  chalk  which 
traverses  the  whole  of  England  from  Dorsetshire  to  the  Hunstanton  cliffs,  on  the 
Wash.  Towards  the  west  these  heights  form  an  escarpment  of  some  boldness,  but 
in  the  east  they  subside  gradually,  and  on  approaching  the  coast  sink  under 
tertiary  beds  of  London  clay  and  crag. 

The  principal  rivers  are  the  Orwell,  the  Deben,  the  Aide,  the  Yare,  and  the 
Waveney.  The  two  latter  flow  into  Breydon  Water,  a  shallow  lake  4  miles  in 
length,  from  which  the  united  stream  is  discharged  into  the  North  Sea  at  Great 
Yarmouth.  Formerly  the  Waveney  had  a  natural  outfall  farther  south,  through 
Lake  Lothing,  near  Lowestoft ;  but  a  bar  of  shingle  and  sand  having  formed  at  its 
mouth,  it  became  necessary  to  construct  a  canal  in  order  to  afford  vessels  direct 
access  to  the  upper  part  of  the  river.  The  western  portion  of  the  country  is 
drained  by  the  Ouse  and  its  tributaries. 

In  no  other  part  of  England  do  we  meet  with  so  many  marks  of  geological 
agencies  as  in  East  Anglia.  At  one  period  the  Yare  and  Waveney  expanded  iDto 
a  wide  arm  of  the  sea,  whilst  now  they  traverse  broad  plains  abounding  in  marshy 


EAST  ANGLIA. 


213 


flats,  locally  known  as  ''broads"  or  *' meres."     This  gain  upon  the  sea  appears, 
however,  to  have  been  more  than  counterbalanced  by  losses  suflPered  along  parts  of 
the  coast  where  the  sea,  for  centuries  past,  has  been  encroaching  upon  the  land. 
The  climate  of  East  Anglia  is  colder,  and  the  rainfall  less  than  in  the  remainder 


Fig.  105. — Gkeat  Yaiimouth  and  Lowestoft. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chart. 


7        \^i     ,/;,        ^1 


.,/^.f 

.{.^- '' 

M 

<■   J) 

,Brd.hv,V 


7.         .5  4      ^- 


6    ROAD 


<  's  ;  '  ■'»    4 


/4 

5>         /  e  »   «b 


•ii        ,.      ,    6    B-^0^\  Uo^'OH  S^-^H  .\     '■ 


6       ? 


R 

>i'i"-/^^ 


3i        VI  // 


-««^ 


on  I,'  Rev  fiat 


>       •  6-    Cheq.    ,..      ^;J»  \  ^    7        8  :  72 

•   ■  I      ■-  '^■"»'^l^i  r  ■■„•  *-n,^a/^-  .'  •'  '        '"•  ^^^— 


t*  14 


>ii^''^^y,jx 


2iliP;S>^*:-p-'  - 


of  England ;  but  the  soil  is  nevertheless  productive,  and  agriculture  is  carried  on 
with  remarkable  success,  80  per  cent,  of  the  total  area  being  under  cultivation. 
Wheat  and  barley  are  the  principal  crops  grown.  The  manufactures  established  by 
Flemish  and  Huguenot  refugees  were  of  considerable  importance  formerly,  but  they 


214^  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

have  now  declined.  The  fisheries,  however,  still  yield  a  considerable  revenue, 
notwithstanding  that  Yarmouth  is  no  longer  the  centre  of  the  herring  trade, 
having  in  a  large  measure  been  supplanted  by  Peterhead  and  other  Scotch  towns. 

Topography. 

Suffolk,  the  country  of  the  "South  Folk,"  is  bounded  on  the  south  by  the 
Stour,  which  separates  it  from  Essex,  and  on  the  north  by  the  Waveney,  which 
divides  it  from  Norfolk,  and  extends  from  the  German  Ocean  in  the  east  to  the 
lowlands  of  Cambridgeshire  in  the  west.  Its  principal  rivers  flow  to  the  German 
Ocean,  but  the  western  portion  of  the  county  is  drained  by  the  Lark,  which  is 
tributary  to  the  Ouse. 

Haverhill  and  Clare  are  small  market  towns  in  the  upper  valley  of  the 
Stour.  Both  engage  in  silk  and  coir  weaving,  and  Clare  possesses,  moreover,  the 
ruins  of  an  ancient  Norman  stronghold,  aiid  of  a  priory  of  Augustine  friars  founded 
in  1248  by  one  of  the  Earls  of  Clare.  At  Sudbury  the  Stour  becomes  navigable 
for  barges.  This  town  was  one  of  the  first  in  which  Flemish  weavers  established 
themselves,  and  the  manufacture  of  silk  and  crape  still  gives  employment  to  many 
of  its  inhabitants.  Thomas  Gainsborough,  the  artist,  was  born  here,  Hadleigh,  on 
the  Brett,  an  affluent  of  the  Stour,  was  one  of  the  ancient  centres  of  the  woollen 
trade,  and  the  neighbouring  villages  of  Kersey  and  Lindsey  are  supposed  to  have 
given  their  names  to  certain  well-known  fabrics. 

Ipswich,  the  capital  town  of  the  county,  stands  at  the  head  of  the  estuary  of 
the  Orwell,  and  its  docks  are  accessible  to  vessels  drawing  15  feet  of  water.  It 
is  a  picturesque  place,  with  fourteen  churches  and  several  interesting  old  buildings. 
It  was  distinguished  at  one  time  for  its  linen  trade,  and  is  still  a  busy  place, 
with  famous  works  for  the  manufacture  of  agricultural  implements  and  other 
industrial  establishments.  Its  coasting  trade  is  very  considerable.  Stowmarket 
is  a  thriving  town  near  the  head  of  the  Gipping,  which  enters  the  estuary  of  the 
Orwell.     It  has  a  gun-cotton  factory. 

Woodbridge,  at  the  head  of  the  estuary  of  the  Deben^  occupies  a  position  analogous 
to  that  of  Ipswich,  but  is  a  place  of  very  inferior  importance,  though  enjoying 
a  great  reputation  amongst  horse-breeders.  Travelling  northward  along  the  coast, 
we  pass  Orford,  with  the  remains  of  a  fanious  old  castle,  on  the  estuary  of  the  Aide, 
at  the  back  of  Orford  Ness ;  Aldeburgh,  or  Aldborough,  a  small  seaport  and  fishing 
station,  the  birthplace  of  Crabbe,  the  poet ;  Dunwich,  a  place  of  importance 
formerly,  but  now  merely  a  small  watering-place ;  and  Southwoldf  noted  for  its 
mild  climate.  In  Southwold  or  Sole  Bay  w^as  fought  in  1672  a  great  naval  battle 
between  the  allied  English  and  French  fleets  and  the  Dutch. 

Lowestoft  is  picturesquely  seated  upon  an  eminence  to  the  north  of  the  canal 
which  joins  Lake  Lothing  and  the  Waveney  to  the  sea.  It  is  a  curious  old  place, 
with  narrow  streets,  or  '-scores,"  and  gardens  sloping  down  to  the  "Denes,"  a 
deserted  tract  of  shingle  intervening  between  the  cliff's  and  the  sea.  New 
Lowestoft,  one  of  the  most  cheerful  watering-places  of  England,  lies  to  the  south 


SUFFOLK. 


215 


of  'the  harbour.  For  its  prosperity  Lowestoft  is  almost  exclusively  dependent 
upon  seaside  visitors  and  its  herring  fishery,  which  employs  350  boats.  Its 
harbour  is  formed  by  two  vast  piers,  and  a  canal  connects  it  with  Lake  Lothing, 
which  thus  constitutes  an  inner  harbour.  Beccks  and  Bungay  are  towns  pleasantly 
seated  upon  the  navigable  Waveney.  They  both  carry  on  a  brisk  trade  in  corn, 
and  Bungay  engages,  moreover,  in  the  silk  trade  and  in  book-printing. 

Bury  St.  Edimmds,  the  capital  of  Western  Suffolk,  occupies  a  pleasant  position 
near  the  head  of  the  river  Lark,  and  is  famed  for  its  Salubrity.  It  acquired  fame 
and  wealth  as  the  resting-place  of  St.  Edmund,  King  of  East  Anglia,  who  was  slain 
by  the  Danes  about  the  year  870.  Its  abbey  became  one  of  the  wealthiest  and 
most  powerful  in  England,  and  its  remains,  including  a  great  Norman  tower  built  in 
1090,  are  even  now  of  great  interest.  But  though  Bury  has  ceased  to  be  the  great 
religious  centre  of  Eastern  England,  and  wealth  is  no  longer  poured  in  its  lap  by 


Fitr.  106.— NouMAN  TowEH  AND  Ahbey  :  BuuY  St.  Edmunds. 


crowds  of  pilgrims,  it  is  still  a  prosperous  place,  carrying  on  a  large  trade  in  corn, 
brewing  an  excellent  ale,  and  manufacturing  agricultural  machinery.  Ichvorth, 
in  its  neighbourhood,  is  a  residence  of  the  Marquis  of  Bristol,  and,  standing  on  high 
ground,  it  forms  a  conspicuous  landmark. 

Thetford,  on  the  Little  Ouse,  to  the  north  of  Bury,  is  one  of  the  most  ancient 
settlements  in  the  eastern  counties,  and  was  a  chief  residence  of  the  East- Anglian 
kings.  In  the  reign  of  Edward  III.  it  is  said  to  have  contained  twenty  churches 
and  eight  monasteries,  and  the  colossal  earthworks  which  cover  the  "  Mount,''  or 
''Castle  Hill,"  bear  witness  to  its  former  importance.  It  has  settled  down  now 
into  a  quiet  market-place,  depending  upon  the  neighbouring  farmers  for  its  existence. 

Newmarket,  on  the  western  border  of  the  county,  and  partly  in  Cambridgeshire, 
is  famous  as  the  "  metropolis  of  the  turf,"  and  the  virtual  head-quarters  of  the 
Jockey  Club.     Newmarket  Heath,  the  site  of  the  racecourse,  lies  to  the  west  of 


216 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


the  town.  Seven  meetings  take  place  annually — the  Craven,  on  Easter  Monday, 
and  the  Houghton  on  the  3rd  of  October,  being  the  most  famous.  There  are 
numerous  stables  belonging  to  trainers  in  the  outskirts  of  the  town,  and  about  400 
horses  are  kept  in  them  during  the  greater  part  of  the  year. 

Norfolk,  the  country  of  the  "  j^orth  Folk,"  is  occupied  for  the  greater  part  by 
the  East  Anglian  heights,  and  most  of  its  rivers  wend  their  way  eastward  to  the 
Ware,  and,  having  been  gathered  in  Breydon  Water,  are  discharged  into  the 
German  Ocean  at  Great  Yarmouth.  The  western  portion  of  the  county,  however, 
forms  part  of  the  district  of  the  Fens,  and  is  drained  by  the  sluggish  Ouse. 

Norwich,  the  capital,  is  seated  on  the  river  Wensum,  the  chief  feeder  of  the 
Yare,  and  is  one  of  the  most  interesting  cities  of  England.     The  Norman  keep  of 

Fig.  107.— NoKwicH  Cathedral. 


the  castle,  towering  over  a  lofty  mound,  forms  the  most  conspicuous  feature  of  the 
town.  It  is  used  now  as  a  gaol.  Near  it  stands  the  modern  shire-hall,  and  at 
its  foot  an  extensive  cattle  market.  The  cathedral,  in  the  main  a  Norman  edifice, 
the  first  stone  of  which  was  laid  in  1096,  stands  on  the  low  ground  near  the  river, 
which  is  here  spanned  by  a  venerable  bridge  constructed  in  1395.  In  addition, 
there  are  numerous  churches  dating  back  to  the  fourteenth  century,  and  to  a 
stranger  not  deterred  by  the  intricacy  of  its  streets,  Norwich  presents  many 
other  buildings  full  of  interest.  Foremost  amongst  these  are  the  Guildhall  in  the 
market-place,  St.  Andrew's  Hall  in  an  old  monastery,  the  Bishop's  palace  within 


NORFOLK. 


217 


the  cathedral  precincts,  and  a  grammar  school  lodged  in  an  ancient  charnel-house. 
There  are  also  fragments  of  the  old  walls  and  gates.  The  town  possesses  a  public 
library  of  40,000  volumes,  a  museum,  and  a  Literary  Institution.  Placed  in  the 
centre  of  a  fruitful  agricultural  district,  famous  for  its  cattle  and  the  beauty  of  its 
horses,  it  is  only  natural  that  Norwich  should  have  become  a  great  mart  of 
agricultural  produce ;  but  it  is  at  the  same  time  a  manufacturing  town  of  no 
mean  importance,  although  in  this  respect  it  is  now  merely  the  shadow  of  its 


Fig.  108.— Norwich. 
Prom  the  Ordnance  Map.    Scale  1  :  30,663. 


1  Mile. 


former  self.  In  the  sixteenth  century  about  four  thousand  Flemings,  driven  from 
their  homes  by  the  Spanish  Inquisition,  settled  in  Norwich  and  introduced  the 
woollen  trade.  These  were  subsequently  joined  by  French  Huguenots  skilled  in 
making  brocades  and  velvets  as  well  as  clocks  and  watches.  In  Defoe's  time  the 
city  and  its  neighbourhood  employed  120,000  workmen  in  its  woollen  and  silk 
manufactures.  In  the  present  day  the  staple  trade  of  Norwich  is  boot  and  shoe- 
making.  Besides  this  the  manufacture  of  bombasins,  crapes,  camlets,  and  other 
fabrics  of  worsted,  mohair,  and  silk,  is  carried  on,  and  there  are  oil-cake  factories 

111— E 


218  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

and   mustard  works.     The  river  below  the   town  has  been  made  navigable  for 
vessels  drawing  10  feet  of  water,  but  Great  Yarmouth  is  virtually  its  seaport. 

One  of  the  decayed  seats  of  the  linen  and  woollen  industry  is  Af/kham,  10 
miles  to  the  north  of  Norwich,  at  the  head  of  the  navigation  of  the  Bure,  a  cheerful 
town  in  a  well- wooded  country,  known  as  the  "  Garden  of  Norfolk."  Near  it 
are  the  villages  of  North  Walsham  and  Worstead,  the  latter  notable  as  the  place 
where  Flemings  first  manufactured  tbe  fabric  known  as  worsted.  East  Dereham 
and  Wi/mondham  are  towns  to  tbe  west  of  Norwich,  the  former  a  flourish- 
ing place  surrounded  by  market  gardens  and  orchards,  tbe  latter  of  no  note 
since  the  dissolution  of  the  Benedictine  priory  around  which  it  grew  up.  The 
poet  Cowper  lies  buried  in  the  fine  old  parish  chlirch  of  East  Dereham.  i>m,  on 
the  Waveney,  is  a  quaint  old  market  town  with  a  remarkable  church. 

We  have  stated  above  that  the  great  rivers  of  Norfolk  converge  upon  Brey- 
don  Water,  and  thus  Great  Yarinouth,  which  occupies  a  flat  tongue  of  land  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Yare,  possesses  considerable  advantages  for  carrying  on  an  extensive 
commerce.  The  town  consists  of  two  portions — the  old  town,  which  faces  the 
Yare,  and  the  modern  town,  opening  on  the  Marine  Parade.  A  quay,  planted 
with  lime-trees  and  lined  with  curious  old  houses,  extends  for  nearly  a  mile  along 
the  river,  and  terminates  in  the  south  with  the  Nelson  Column,  a  Doric  pillar  144 
feet  in  height,  and  surmounted  by  a  statue  of  Britannia.  This  is  the  busy  part  of 
the  town,  whilst  the  Parade,  with  its  two  piers,  is  the  chief  place  of  resort  for  the 
numerous  excursionists  who  visit  the  town  during  the  summer  months.  But  it 
is  neither  as  a  watering-place  nor  as  a  commercial  port  that  Yarmouth  prospers 
most,  for  its  wealth  depends  upon  its  herring  and  mackerel  fisheries,  which  employ 
a  large  part  of  the  population.  As  early  as  the  thirteenth  century,  and  long  before 
Beukelszoon's  alleged  invention,  the  fishermen  of  Yarmouth  knew  how  to  cure  the 
herrings  they  caught.  The  inhabitants  of  the  town  claim  to  be  descended  from  a 
Danish  colony  which  established  itself  on  this  coast  soon  after  the  Saxon 
conquest.  Many  words  of  Scandinavian  origin  are  preserved  in  the  local  dialect. 
Thus  the  navigable  channels  between  the  banks  which  skirt  the  coast  are  known 
as  "  Gats,"  as  on  the  coast  of  Denmark.  Yarmouth  .Roads,  which  are  protected  by 
these  sand-banks  from  the  fury  of  the  North  Sea,  present  the  only  secure  anchorage 
between  the  Humber  and  the  Thames,  and  whole  fleets  of  colliers  and  coasting 
vessels  may  sometimes  be  seen  riding  there. 

Cromer  is  a  pretty  fishing  and  watering  place  on  the  north  coast  of  Norfolk, 
which  here  forms  cliffs  nearly  200  feet  in  height.  Its  vicinity  furnishes  ample 
proof  of  the  rapidity  with  which  the  cliffs  are  being  undermined  by  the  sea,  for 
landslips  meet  the  eye  in  every  direction.  Clet/,  or  Clej/ton-next-the-Sea,  to  the 
west  of  Cromer,  is  a  small  seaport  in  an  uninteresting  flat  country.  Wells-next- 
the-Sea,  on  a  small  creek  which  forms  an  indifferent  harbour,  carries  on  some 
trade  in  corn,  coals,  timber,  and  salt.  Near  it  is  Holkham  Hall,  the  magnificent 
seat  of  the  Earl  of  Leicester.  It  has  a  memorial  column  erected  to  Mr.  Coke, 
who  was  deservedly  honoured  for  the  agricultural  improvements  he  introduced, 
and  was  created  Earl  of  Leicester  in  1837. 


NORFOLK.  219 

King's  Lynn  is  the  principal  town  in  that  part  of  the  county  which  is  drained  by 
the  river  Ouse.  In  former  times  it  was  a  place  of  considerable  importance,  and 
carried  on  a  great  trade  with  Flanders,  the  Hanse  Towns,  and  the  Baltic  ports  ; 
but  its  commerce  fled  when  its  harbour  became  silted  up.  Kecently,  however, 
a  navigable  channel  has  been  constructed  through  the  mud  and  sand-banks 
which  intervene  between  the  town  and  the  "deeps"  of  the  Wash,  and  vessels 
of  300  tons  can  now  enter  the  Alexandra  Docks  with  every  high  tide.  Flax- 
dressing  and  machine-making  are  carried  on  in  the  town,  and  sand,  used  in  the 
manufacture  of  glass,  is  enumerated  amongst  the  articles  of  export.  There  are 
several  quaint  old  buildings,  including  a  Guildhall,  and  a  custom-house  "that  might 
have  been  bodily  imported  from  Flanders ;  "  and  one  of  the  ancient  town  gates 
still  remains.  Sandringham,  a  country  seat  of  the  Prince  of  Wales,  lies  about  8 
miles  to  the  north  of  Lynn.  Downham  Market,  on  the  Ouse  above  Lynn,  carries 
on  a  brisk  trade  in  butter.  Swajfham,  in  the  upland  to  the  east  of  the  Ouse,  is  a 
well-built  market  town.  Castle  Acre,  with  the  picturesque  remains  of  a  priory, 
lies  about  4  miles  to  the  north  of  it. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  WASH. 
(Bedfordshire,  Cambridgeshire,  Huntingdonshire,  Northamptonshire,  Rutland,  Lincolnshire.) 

General  Features. 

HESE  are  the  Englisli  Netherlands,  and  one  of  the  districts  even 
bears  the  name  of  Holland — and  that  with  perfect  justice.  The 
aspect  of  the  two  countries  is  precisely  the  same.  As  in  Holland, 
so  in  the  district  of  the  Fens,  the  country  forms  a  perfect  level, 
and  a  traveller  sees  trees,  houses,  windmills,  and  other  elevated 
objects  rise  gradually  above  the  horizon,  like  ships  on  the  ocean.  The  country  of 
the  Fens  occupies  an  area  of  nearly  1,200  square  miles,  and  it  is  intersected  by 
innumerable  artificial  water  channels — some  of  them  broad  like  rivers,  and  capable 
of  bearing  large  vessels,  others  mere  drains,  whose  direction  is  indicated  from  afar 
by  a  fringe  of  reeds.  The  waters  would  flood  nearly  the  whole  of  this  region  if 
artificial  means  were  not  employed  to  get  rid  of  the  excess.  The  coast,  the  rivers, 
and  the  canals  are  lined  by  embankments,  which  prevent  the  water  from  invading 
the  adjoining  fields  and  meadows.  Trees  are  scarce ;  only  willows  are  reflected  in 
the  sluggish  waters,  and  here  and  there  clumps  of  verdure  surround  the  isolated 
homesteads.  The  soil  of  English  Holland  is  also  the  same  as  that  of  the  Nether- 
lands. In  a  few  localities  clayey  soil  of  exceeding  fertility  slightly  rises  above 
the  surrounding  plain,  and  here  the  most  ancient  villages  of  the  country  are 
found.  As  a  rule,  the  soil  consists  of  peat,  which  has  gradually  been  trans- 
formed by  cultivation.  The  district  of  the  Fens  lies,  moreover,  at  a  higher 
level  than  the  greater  part  of  veritable  Holland.  It  has  been  raised  by  warp- 
ing, and  as  there  are  no  "  polders  "  whose  level  is  inferior  to  that  of  the  sea, 
the  danger  from  inundation  is  very  much  less.  In  1613,  however,  several  villages 
were  overwhelmed  by  a  flood,  and  an  extensive  tract  of  productive  land  converted 
temporarily  into  a  marsh,  but  since  that  time  the  sea  has  not  again  broken  through 
the  embankments  which  form  its  bounds.  The  rainfall  is  less  considerable  than  in 
the  Netherlands,*  and  the  floods  of  the  small  rivers  which  intersect  the  lowlands 

*  Average  rainfall  in  the  basin  of  the  Wash        ....         22  inches. 
»»  ,.        Holland 27      „ 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  WASH. 


221 


borderiug  upon  the  Wash  are  consequently  not  at  all  comparable  to  those  of  the 
Meuse  or  Rhine.  Hence  the  inhabitants  of  the  country  of  the  Fens  have  not 
recently  been  called  upon  to  contest  with  the  elements  the  possession  of  the  soil 
which  bears  their  habitations. 

The  geological  history  of  the  two  countries  is  the  same,  for  the  sea  has  struggled 
for  the  possession  of  both.  Near  Peterborough,  at  a  distance  of  25  miles  from 
the  actual  coast,  oysters  and  molluscs  have  been  found  in  large  quantities,  mingled 
with  fresh-water  shells.  In  Whittlesea  Mere,  now  drained,  the  bones  of  seals 
have  been  discovered  by  the  side  of  those  of  other  animals,  and  at  Waterbeach, 


Fig.  109.— The  Wash. 

Scale  1  :  240.000. 


Fcoreshore. 


Depth  over  10 
Fathoms. 


5  Miles. 


within  10  miles  of  Cambridge,  the  remains  of  a  whale  have  been  unearthed. 
There  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  whole  of  this  district  of  the  Fens  was  formerly 
covered  by  the  sea,  and  formed  a  huge  marine  estuary.*  But  at  the  glacial  epoch 
the  country  had  already  emerged,  for  everywhere  beneath  the  recent  alluvial  deposits 
we  meet  with  gravels  and  boulder  clay,  and  at  that  time  a  broad  plain  probably 
united  England  to  the  continent,  f  Even  after  the  glacial  epoch,  when  oscillation 
of  the  soil  and  erosive  action  of  the  sea  had  completely  changed  the  face  of  the 
country,  the  district  of  the  Fens  yet  retained  a  sufficient  elevation  to  become  the 

♦  Evans,  "  Ancient  Stone  Implements  of  Great  Britain." 

t  Ramsay,  "Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Great  Britain." 


222  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

residence  of  human  beings.  This  is  proved  by  the  flint  weapons  and  implements 
which,  together  with  fresh-water  shells  and  the  bones  of  oxen  and  mammoths,  have 
been  discovered  on  the  river  terraces  along  the  Ouse. 

The  peat  of  the  Fens  in  several  places  attains  a  thickness  of  lO  feet.  As  in 
the  peat  of  the  Netherlands,  there  are  embedded  in  it  the  remains  of  ancient 
forests,  the  bones  of  wild  boars,  stags,  and  beavers,  and  more  rarely  weapons 
and  boats  which  belonged  perhaps  to  the  ancient  Britons.  It  has  been  noticed  that 
the  most  elevated  peat  yields  oak,  whilst  that  nearer  the  sea  conceals  only  ancient 
forests  of  fir.*  In  proportion  as  the  soil  subsides  these  buried  trunks  of  trees 
come  to  be  nearer  the  surface,  just  as  in  Holland,  and  very  frequently  the  plough- 
share strikes  against  them.  There  are  localities  where  the  wood  recovered  from 
the  peat  sufiices  for  the  construction  of  fences'. 

The  embankment  and  reclamation  of  these  lowlands  were  begun  more  than 
eighteen  hundred  years  ago.  An  old  embankment,  traces  of  which  are  still  visible 
a  few  miles  from  the  actual  coast-line,  connects  all  those  towns  which  are  known 
to  have  been  Roman  stations.  The  Normans  raised  powerful  dykes  along  the 
river  Welland  for  the  protection  of  the  adjoining  flats,  but  the  drainage  works  on  a 
really  large  scale  date  back  no  further  than  the  seventeenth  century,  and  were 
carried  out  by  a  company  formed  by  the  Earl  of  Bedford.  It  is  from  this  circum- 
stance that  a  large  portion  of  the  Fen  country  is  known  as  the  Bedford  Level.  Later 
on  Dutchmen,  taken  prisoners  in  a  naval  battle  fought  in  1652,  were  employed  in 
the  construction  of  canals  and  dykes,  and  the  lessons  then  conveyed  proved  very 
profitable.  Not  a  decade  has  passed  since  without  the  extent  of  cultivable  land 
having  been  increased  at  the  expense  of  the  sea.  A  line  drawn  through  the  ancient 
towns  of  Wainfleet,  Boston,  Spalding,  Wisbeach,  and  King's  Lynn  approximately 
marks  the  direction  of  the  coast  in  the  Middle  Ages.  The  towns  named  have 
travelled  inland,  as  it  were,  ever  since,  and  new  dykes  and  embankments  are  for 
ever  encroaching  upon  the  bay  of  the  Wash.  Propositions  have  even  been  made 
for  blotting  out  that  indenture  of  the  sea  altogether.  Natural  obstacles  would  not 
prevent  such  a  work  from  being  carried  to  a  happy  conclusion,  for  the  Wash  is 
encumbered  with  banks  of  sand  and  mud,  which  would  assist  such  an  embank- 
ment. Many  of  the  towns,  villages,  and  homesteads  whose  names  terminate 
in  "  beach,"  "  sea,"  "  mere,"  or  "  ey,"  proving  that  formerly  they  were  close  to  the 
sea,  and  even  on  islands  in  the  midst  of  it,  now  lie  5,  10,  or  even  30  miles 
inland,  and  a  few  shallow  meres  are  all  that  remain  of  an  estuary  which  at 
one  time  extended  inland  as  far  as  the  Cam,  Huntingdon,  Peterborough,  and 
Lincoln. 

The  islands  which  rose  in  the  midst  of  this  estuary  were  formerly  of  great 
historical  importance,  for  they  proved  an  asylum  to  the  persecuted  of  every  race. 
Quaking  bogs  and  marshes  enabled  Ditmarschers,  Frieslanders,  and  Batavians  to 
maintain  their  independence  for  a  considerable  time  ;  and  similarly  the  inhabitants 
of  the  Fen  country,  too,  repeatedly  endeavoured  to  throw  off"  the  yoke  of  their 

♦  John  Algernon  Clarke,  "  On  the  Great  Level  of  the  Fens  "  {Journal  of  the  Agricultural  Society  of 
England,  vol.  viii.). 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  WASH.  228 

masters.  They  might  have  finally  succeeded  in  this  had  their  half-drowned 
lands  been  more  extensive,  and  the  facilities  for  communicating  with  the  continent 
greater.  When  the  Saxons  invaded  England  the  people  of  the  Fens  fled  to  the 
islands  of  Ely,  Rams-ey,  Thorn-ey,  and  others,  and  for  a  considerable  time  they 
resisted  successfully.  At  a  later  date  the  Saxons  and  Angles  established  their 
"  Camp  of  Refuge  "  in  the  Isle  of  Ely,  and  under  the  leadership  of  Hereward  they 
repeatedly  routed  their  Norman  oppressors,  until  the  treachery  of  the  ecclesiastics 
of  Ely  put  an  end  to  their  resistance.*     But  the  spirit  of  independence  in  the 


Fig,  110. — The  Fens  of  Wisbeach  and  Peterborough. 
Scale  1  :  182,000. 


3  Miles 


people  was  not  wholly  crushed  ;  it  rallied  many  of  them  to  Cromwell's  standard 
in  1645,  and  survives  to  the  present  day. 

The  Ouse,  Nen,  Welland,  and  Witham,  which  traverse  this  lowland  region, 
have  frequently  changed  their  channels  even  within  historical  times.  They  can 
hardly  be  said  to  take  their  course  through  valleys,  but  rather  spread  themselves 
over  wide  flats,  and  before  they  had  been  confined  within  artificial  banks  they 
stagnated  into  vast  marshes.  The  actual  channels  of  these  rivers  are  altogether  the 
work  of  human  industry.  Numerous  "  leams,"  or  '*  eaus,"  a  French  term  evidently 
introduced  by  the  Normans,!  discharge  themselves  direct  into  the  sea,  but  their 
mouths  are  closed  by  sluices,  and  these  are  kept  shut  as  long  as  the  tide  rises. 
Thanks  to  the  innumerable  drains  now  intersecting  the  plain  in  all  directions, 

*  Augustin  Thierrj^  *'  Histoire  de  la  conquete  de  I'Angleterre  par  les  Normandes." 
t  Elstobb,  "  Historical  Account  of  the  Great  Level  of  the  Fens.  ' 


224  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

most  of  the  windmills  which  were  formerly  employed,  after  the  practice  common 
in  Holland,  to  raise  the  water  into  artificial  channels,  can  now  be  dispensed  with, 
and  even  steam-engines  need  not  be  kept  at  work  to  the  same  extent  as  formerly. 
It  happens  unfortunately  that  the  interests  of  navigation  and  agriculture  are 
irreconcilable;  for  whilst  mariners  demand  that  the  water  be  retained  in  the 
channels  by  means  of  locks,  so  as  to  render  them  navigable,  the  agricul- 
turists desire  to  see  the  water  carried  off  to  the  sea  as  rapidly  as  possible.  They 
point  to  the  lock  which  obstructs  the  discharge  of  the  Witham  as  to  the  principal 
cause  of  the  dampness  of  the  soil  around  Boston.  The  removal  of  this  lock,  they 
say,  would  enable  them  to  dispense  with  fifty  steam-engines  and  two  hundred  and 
fifty  windmills  which  are  now  incessantly  engaged  in  the  drainage  of  the  Fens 
near  that  town.  The  river  Witham  is  subject  to  a  "  bore  "  of  considerable  force, 
though  less  powerful  than  that  of  the  Severn.  On  the  eastern  coast  of  England 
this  phenomenon  is  known  as  "  eagre." 

A  range  of  heights  of  inconsiderable  elevation  separates  the  basin  of  the  Wash 
from  that  of  the  Humber,  and  presents  a  precipitous  front  towards  the  plain  of 
Central  England.  It  is  composed  of  liassic  and  oolitic  rocks,  which  sink  down  on 
the  east  between  the  tertiary  clays  and  alluvial  formations  which  occupy  the  greater 
extent  of  the  region  now  under  consideration.  In  the  south  and  west  the  cretaceous 
downs,  known  as  the  East  Anglian  Heights,  form  a  steep  escarpment  of  slight 
elevation.  They  dip  beneath  the  Wash,  and  reappear  to  the  north  in  the  Lincoln 
Wolds. 

Of  all  rivers  which  wend  their  sluggish  course  towards  the  Wash,  the  Ouse  is 
by  far  the  most  considerable,  and  when  that  bay  of  the  sea  shall  have  been 
converted  into  dry  land,  the  Witham,  Welland,  and  Nen  will  become  its  tributaries. 
The  Ouse  rises  near  the  southern  border  of  JS^orthamptonshire,  traverses  in  its 
upper  course  the  county  of  Buckinghamshire  (see  p.  162),  crosses  Bedfordshire  and 
Cambridgeshire,  and  finally  the  western  part  of  Norfolk,  on  its  way  to  the  Wash^ 
which  it  enters  below  King's  Lynn. 

The  six  counties  which  lie  wholly  or  for  the  most  part  within  the  basin  of  the 
Wash  depend  almost  solely  upon  agriculture.  Their*  soil  is  of  exceeding  fertility, 
and  scarcely  anywhere  else  in  England  do  crops  equally  heavy  reward  the  labours 
of  the  husbandman. 


Topography. 

Bedfordshire  consists  in  the  main  of  a  fertile  clayey  plain,  traversed  by  the 
Ouse,  and  bounded  on  the  south  by  the  steep  escarpment  of  the  Chiltern  Hills,  here 
known  as  Dunstable  and  Luton  Downs,  and  on  the  north  by  an  oolitic  upland, 
which  separates  it  from  Northamptonshire.  Agriculture  and  market  gardening 
are  the  principal  occupations.  Pillow  lace  is  manufactured,  though  to  a  smaller 
extent  than  formerly,  and  straw  plait  for  hats  is  made. 

Bedford.,  the  capital  of  the  county,  is  pleasantly  situated  on  the  navigable  Ouse. 
It   is   noted  for    its   grammar  school  and  charitable    institutions.      Agricultural 


HUNTINGDONSHIEE— CAMBRIDGESHIRE.  226 

implements,  lace,  and  straw  plait  are  manufactured.  There  are  a  public  library,  a 
literary  institution,  and  an  archaeological  museum.  John  Bunyan  was  born  in 
the  neighbouring  village  of  Elstoiv,  and  the  town  and  its  vicinity  abound  in 
objects  connected  with  him. 

Wohurn  is  a  quiet  market  town  near  the  western  border  of  the  county,  famous 
on  account  of  the  magnificent  mansion  of  the  Duke  of  Bedford  (Woburn  Abbey), 
which  stands  in  the  centre  of  a  park  3,500  acres  in  extent.  Fuller's  earth  is 
procured  in  the  neighbourhood. 

Leighton  Buzzard,  an  old  country  town,  is  giving  signs  of  renewed  life  since  it 
has  become  a  principal  station  on  the  London  and  North- Western  Railway. 

Biggleswade,  on  the  Ivel,  a  navigable  tributary  of  the  Ouse,  has  been  almost 
wholly  reconstructed  since  1785,  in  which  year  a  conflagration  laid  it  waste.  Dun- 
stable, at  the  northern  foot  of  the  Chiltern  Hills,  has  interesting  remains  of  a  priory 
church  founded  by  Henry  I.  The  quarries  in  the  Downs  present  many  features 
of  interest  to  the  geologist.  Some  of  the  neighbouring  heights  are  crowned  with 
British  earthworks.  Luton,  a  straggling  place  with  a  remarkable  Gothic  church,  lies 
beyond  the  Chiltern  Hills,  in  the  valley  of  the  Thames.  It  is  the  centre  of  the  trade 
in  straw  hats  and  bonnets,  the  plait  for  which  is  made  in  the  neighbouring  villages. 

Huntingdonshire  stretches  from  the  Nen  in  the  north  to  beyond  the  Ouse  in 
the  south.  Its  surface  is  gently  undulating  in  the  west,  but  the  north-eastern 
portion  is  for  the  most  part  embraced  within  the  district  of  the  Fens. 

Huntingdon,  the  county  town,  is  pleasantly  seated  upon  the  Ouse.  An  ancient 
stone  bridge,  erected  before  1259,  connects  it  with  its  suburb  of  Godmanchester, 
the  site  of  the  Roman  station  of  DuroUpons.  The  trade  in  wool  and  corn  is 
considerable,  and  patent  bricks  are  made.  OHver  Cromwell  was  born  in  the  town, 
baptized  in  its  ancient  church,  recently  restored,  and  educated  in  its  grammar 
school.  8t.  Ices  and  St.  Neofs  are  interesting  market  towns  on  the  Ouse,  the  one 
below,  the  other  above  Huntingdon.  Kimholton,  with  a  castle  belonging  to  the  Duke 
of  Manchester,  lies  to  the  west.  Ramsey  is  the  principal  town  in  the  district  of  the 
Fens.  Stilton  is  a  village  in  the  same  part  of  the  county.  It  is  usually  stated 
that  "Stilton  cheese  "  was  first  made  here ;  but  in  point  of  fact  it  was  originally 
produced  in  Leicestershire,  and  derives  its  name  from  having  been  first  brought 
into  notice  at  an  inn  of  this  village,  which  lies  on  the  great  northern  road. 

Cambridgeshire  lies  almost  wholly  within  the  great  level  of  the  Fens,  but  the 
southern  portion  of  the  county  has  a  finely  diversified  surface,  and  the  chalk 
downs  rise  here  to  a  height  of  between  300  to  500  feet.  Butter  and  cream  cheese 
are  amongst  the  most  highly  appreciated  productions,  and  the  breeding  of  pigeons 
is  carried  on  more  extensively  than  in  any  other  part  of  England,  the  produce  of 
a  single  "pigeonry  "  frequently  exceeding  100,000  dozens  a  year.  The  manufac- 
tures are  unimportant. 

Cambridge,  the  county  town,  is  seated  on  the  river  Cam,  which  flows  north- 
ward into  the  Ouse.  Its  university  is  a  worthy  rival  of  that  at  Oxford. 
Its  situation  in  a  wide  plain  is  not  so  favourable  or  so  picturesque  as  that  of 
Oxford;    but  the    green  meadows  surrounded    by    trees,   which    run  along   the 


226 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


backs  of  the  colleges,  form  a  beautiful  leafy  screen  bordering  upon  a  river  alive 
with  gaily  decorated  rowing-boats.  The  public  buildings  of  Cambridge  are 
upon   the  whole  inferior  to  those  of  Oxford,   although  there  are  amongst  them 


Fig.  111. — Cambridge. 
From  the  Ordnance  Map.    Scale  1  :  63,36fi. 


,  1  Mile. 


several  which   for  size,  stateliness,  and  beauty  of  architecture  need  not  fear  com- 
parison.     They  are  constructed  of  more  durable   stone,  and  the  delicate  tracery 
wrought  by  the  sculptor's  chisel  survives  in  its  pristine  beauty.*     King's  College 
•  Demogeot  et  Montucci,  "  De  TEnseignemeiit  superieur  en  Angleterre  et  en  Ecosse." 


NORTHAMPTONSHIRE.  227 

Chapel,  with  its  lofty  roof  and  sumptuous  yet  chaste  interior,  overshadows  all 
other  buildings,  and  is  indubitably  one  of  the  finest  Gothic  monuments  of  the  fifteenth 
century.  Trinity  College,  with  its  four  courts,  occupies  a  considerable  area,  and 
attracts  more  students  than  any  similar  institution  in  the  country.  Though 
not  rejoicing  in  the  possession  of  a  library  at  all  comparable  with  the  Bodleian  at 
Oxford,  the  University  Library,  with  its  220,000  volumes  and  3,000  manuscripts, 
and  the  libraries  of  the  various  colleges,  nevertheless  make  a  goodly  show.  The 
Woodwardian  Geological  Museum  has  grown,  under  t^e  able  direction  of  the  illus- 
trious Professor  Sedgwick,  into  one  of  the  most  remarkable  collections  in  Europe  ; 
the  Observatory  has  also  acquired  fame  through  the  discoveries  of  Mr.  Adams ; 
and  the  Fitzwilliam  Museum,  a  fine  classical  building,  is  rich  in  works  of  art, 
including  paintings  by  Titian,  Paul  Veronese,  and  other  masters  of  the  Italian  school. 
The  foundation  of  the  university  dates  back  to  the  early  Middle  Ages,  and  St.  Peter's 
College  is  known  to  have  been  founded  in  1257,  and  is  consequently  more  ancient 
than  any  college  of  Oxford.  There  are  seventeen  colleges  and  two  institutions 
Girton  College  and  Newnham  Hall  have  recently  been  founded  for  the  education 
of  ladies.  Cambridge  even  more  than  Oxford  depends  for  its  prosperity  upon 
its  2,500  professors,  fellows,  and  under-graduates.  When  these  retire  during 
the  vacations,  dulness  reigns  in  the  streets,  and  Cambridge  resembles  a  city  of 
the  dead.  Paiker's  Piece,  at  other  times  the  scene  of  cricket  matches  and  athletic 
sports,  lies  deserted,  and  the  boats  on  the  Cam  are  hidden  away  in  their  boat- 
houses.  Newmarket,  so  famous  for  its  races,  lies  11  miles  to  the  west  of  Cam- 
bridge, in  a  detached  portion  of  Suffolk  (see  p.  215). 

Following  the  Cam  on  its  way  to  the  Ouse,  we  reach  Waterbeach,  where 
coprolites  are  dug  and  ground,  and  immediately  afterwards  we  enter  the  district 
of  the  Fens.  In  front  of  us  rises  the  isolated  hillock,  surmounted  by  the  magnifi- 
cent cathedral  of  Uli/.  This  city  is  the  capital  of  the  district  known  as  the  Isle  of 
Ely,  and  an  ancient  stronghold.  The  cathedral  displays  a  mixture  of  many 
styles,  and  has  been  carefully  restored.  Its  great  western  tower  rises  to  a  height 
of  270  feet,  and  the  centre  octagon,  at  the  intersection  of  the  nave  and  the 
transepts,  is  justly  admired  for  its  slender  shafts  and  ribbed  vaulting  of  wood. 
March  and  Whittlesea  occupy  eminences  in  the  midst  of  the  Fens,  and  both  boast 
interesting  old  churches  forming  conspicuous  landmarks.  Wisheach,  on  the 
navigable  Nen,  is  the  chief  town  in  the  northern  part  of  the  county.  Vessels  of 
500  tons  can  enter  the  harbour  of  the  town  at  high  water.  Wheat  is  the  principal 
article  of  export.  WaUoken,  a  village  within  the  borders  of  Norfolk,  is  now 
virtually  a  suburb  of  Wisbeach.  Its  Norman  church  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful 
in  the  east  of  England. 

Northamptonshire  has  for  the  most  part  a  beautifully  varied  surface.  The 
breezy  uplands  in  its  south-western  portion  give  birth  to  the  Nen  and  the  Ouse, 
which  flow  to  the  Wash;  and  to  the  Avon,  which  takes  its  course  to  the 
Severn.  The  Nen  is  the  principal  river  of  the  county,  whilst  the  Welland  bounds 
it  for  a  considerable  distance  in  the  north.  Along  both  these  is  some  fine 
meadow  land,  whilst  the  north-east  corner  of  the    county  is  occupied   by  rich 


228  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

fen  land.  The  woodlands,  consisting  principally  of  the  remains  of  ancient  forests, 
are  still  very  extensive  ;  but  the  adjoining  inhabitants  have  the  right  to  cut  the 
underwood  and  to  depasture  them,  and  they  do  not  consequently  yield  as  much 
timber  as  they  would  under  better  management.  The  manufacture  of  boots  and 
shoes  is  extensively  carried  on,  but  other  branches  of  industry  languish,  owing  to 
the  want  of  cheap  coal. 

Brackley  and  Towcester  are  ancient  market  towns  in  the  extreme  south  of  the 
county.  Daventry  occupies  an  eminence  near  the  source  of  the  river  Nen.  Not 
far  from  it  are  the  remains  of  an  ancient  encampment. 

Northampton,  the  most  populous  town  in  the  basin  of  the  Wash,  stretches 
along  a  ridge  of  high  ground  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Nen,  which  here  becomes 
navigable.  Several  Parliaments  met  in  this  venerable  town,  and  the  number  of 
mediaeval  churches  and  other  buildings  is  very  considerable,  but  at  the  present 
day  Northampton  is  known  principally  for  its  boots  and  shoes  and  its  horse  fairs. 
The  environs  are  delightful,  and  gentlemen's  seats  abound.  Althorp  Park,  the 
seat  of  Earl  Spencer,  with  a  library  of  50,000  volumes,  lies  to  the  north-west. 
Descending  the  Nen,  we  pass  Castle  Ashby  and  the  adjoining  Yardley  Chase,  an 
extensive  tract  of  woodland.  On  the  other  bank  of  the  river  rises  the  tower  of 
the  Saxon  church  of  Castle  Barton.  Lower  down  the  Nen  flows  past  the  old 
market  town  of  Wellingborough,  and  is  joined  by  the  river  Ise,  which  passes  Ketter- 
ing in  its  course.  Both  these  towns  are  places  of  considerable  importance,  with 
iron  mines  in  their  neighbourhood  and  iron  works.  Higham  Ferrers,  on  a  lofty 
cliff  looking  down  upon  the  Nen,  was  the  birthplace  of  Archbishop  Chichele,  and 
the  church,  college,  cross,  school,  and  bedehouse  raised  and  endowed  by  him  form 
the  most  conspicuous  features  of  the  town.  Continuing  our  journey  past  the 
pleasant  town  of  Oundle,  where  the  Nen  is  spanned  by  a  bridge,  we  reach  Petor- 
horough,  which  has  grown  up  around  a  Benedictine  abbey  founded  on  the  borders  of 
the  Fen  country  in  655.  The  cathedral,  with  its  magnificent  western  front 
completed  about  the  middle  of  the  thirteenth  century,  is  the  most  remarkable 
building  of  the  city.  There  are  extensive  railway  works,  and  the  manufacture  of 
agricultural  machinery  is  carried  on.  Castor,  a  village  about  4  miles  to  the 
west  of  Peterborough,  occupies  the  site  of  the  Eoman  station  of  Durohrivce,  and 
much  pottery  and  many  coins  have  been  discovered  there.  Still  farther  west  are 
the  remains  of  Fotheringay  Castle,  where  Mary  Queen  of  Scots  was  beheaded  in 
1587. 

There  are  no  towns  on  the  Northamptonshire  bank  of  the  Welland,  the  only 
remarkable  object  being  Rockingham  Castle,  founded  by  William  the  Conqueror. 

Rutlandshire,  the  smallest  county  of  England,  lies  to  the  north  of  the  river 
Welland,  above  the  Fen  country,  and  has  a  beautifully  varied  surface.  Oakham, 
the  county  town,  stands  in  the  fertile  vale  of  Catmose.  The  assizes  are  held  in 
the  hall  of  its  ancient  castle,  and  there  is  a  richly  endowed  grammar  school. 
Uppingham,  the  second  town  of  the  county,  has  likewise  a  grammar  school  of 
considerable  reputation. 

Lincolnshire  lies  only  partly  within  the  basin  of  the  Wash,  for  the  Trent  and 


LINCOLNSHIRE.  229 

other  rivers  drain  its  northern  portion  into  the  Humber.  Its  surface  is  greatly- 
diversified,  a  range  of  oolitic  uplands  stretches  through  the  western  portion  of  the 
county  as  far  as  the  Humber,  and  through  a  gap  in  them  the  river  Withani  finds 
its  way  into  the  Wash.  The  chalk  downs  known  as  "  lincoln  Wolds  "  occupy 
the  eastern  maritime  portion  of  the  county  between  the  Humber  and  the  Wash. 
These  two  ranges  of  upland  are  separated  by  a  level  tract  of  great  fertility,  which 
is  drained  by  the  Ancholme  and  the  Witham,  the  former  flowing  northward  into 
the  Humber,  the  other  taking  its  course  towards  the  Wash.  The  coast  is  low  and 
marshy,  and  around  the  Wash  the  marshes  extend  far  inland  and  merge  into  the 
chief  level  of  the  Fens,  the  greater  part  of  which  is  known  as  Holland.  A  similar 
district  of  fens  and  marshes  lies  beyond  the  river  Trent,  at  the  head  of  the  Humber. 
This  is  the  island  of  Axeholme,  or  Axel.  Up  to  about  1626  this  district  was 
covered  with  marshes,  its  sparse  inhabitants  being  confined  to  a  few  knolls  rising 
above  them.  In  that  year  a  Dutchman,  Vermuyden,  undertook  to  drain  the 
country,  on  condition  of  receiving  one-third  of  the  land  recovered  in  free  and 
common  socage.  Yermuyden  performed  his  share  of  the  contract  in  the  course 
of  five  years,  and  about  two  hundred  families,  Dutch  and  French  Protestants, 
settled  in  the  district.  But  disputes  between  the  original  inhabitants  of  the 
country  and  these  foreign  settlers  led  to  a  protracted  course  of  litigation,  which 
continued  till  1719,  and  ended  in  the  Dutchmen  being  worsted. 

In  Lincolnshire  all  kinds  of  grain  are  produced  in  the  greatest  abundance, 
and  the  county  has  long  been  celebrated  for  its  breed  of  horses,  cattle,  and  sheep. 
Some  of  the  finest  dray  horses  seen  in  London  are  bred  in  the  Fens.  The  industry 
of  the  shire  is  not,  however,  wholly  agricultural ;  for  the  manufacture  of  agricul- 
tural implements  is  carried  on  with  great  success,  and  even  a  little  iron  is  mined 
near  Frodingham,  a  village  close  to  the  eastern  bank  of  the  Trent. 

The  county  is  divided  into  three  ''parts,"  viz.  Lindsey  in  the  north,  Kesteven 
in  the  south-west,  and  Holland  in  the  south. 

The  Welland  is  the  principal  river  of  Holland.  It  rises  in  Northamptonshire, 
separates  that  county  from  Leicestershire  and  Rutland,  and  first  touches  the 
borders  of  Lincolnshire  a  little  above  Stamford,  an  ancient  borough  which  carries 
on  a  considerable  trade  in  agricultural  produce,  and  is  one  of  the  five  "burghs  " 
of  the  Danes.  The  other  towns  on  the  Welland  are  Market  Deeping,  Crowland  (with 
an  abbey),  and  Spalding.  The  latter  is  the  capital  of  Holland,  and  has  much  trade 
in  wool.  Holheach  and  Long  Sutton  are  to  the  east  of  it,  in  the  centre  of  the  Fens. 
Boston,  an  ancient  seaport,  lies  14  miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  river  Witham, 
and  is  accessible  at  spring  tides  for  vessels  of  400  tons  burden.  The  lofty  tower 
of  the  church  of  St.  Botolph  serves  as  a  landmark  to  mariners.  Many  of  its 
boats  are  engaged  in  the  fishing,  and  the  commerce  with  Holland  and  the  north 
of  England  is  of  some  importance.  There  was  a  time  when  it  was  second  only  to 
London,  when  the  Hanseatic  merchants  had  a  factory  here,  and  its  annual  fairs 
attracted  crowds  of  purchasers.  Tattershall,  with  the  remains  of  the  castle  of  the 
Lord  Treasurer  Cromwell,  lies  a  few  miles  above  Boston.  .Horncastle,  on  the  Bain, 
a  navigable  tributary  of  the  Witham,  and  at  the  west  foot  of  the  Wolds,  carries  on 


230 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


much  trade  in  corn,  wool,  and  horses.      Sleaford  and  Boiirne  are  market  towns  of 
local  importance,  on  or  near  the  western  border  of  the  Fen  country. 

They  both  lie  within  the   "part"   of  Kesteven  whose  principal  river  is  the 
Witham,  which  rises  in  Eutlandshire,  and  flows  northward  past  the  ancient  borough 

Fig.  112. — Lincoln  Cathedral. 


of  Grantham.  It  was  at  the  grammar  school  of  Grantham  that  Sir  Isaac  Newton, 
a  native  of  the  neighbouring  village  of  Woolsthorpe,  received  his  early  education. 
The  borough  boasts  a  fine  parish  church,  has  works  for  the  manufacture  of  agricul- 
tural machinery,  and  carries  on  a  profitable  trade  in  corn,  malt,  and  coal,  its 
neighbourhood  is  much  frequented  by  fox-hunters. 


LINCOLNSHIEE. 


281 


In  its  onward  course  the  Witham  washes  the  city  of  Lincoln,  superbly  seated 
on  a  lofty  ridge  and  the  slopes  of  a  hill  which  commands  a  view  of  the  Fens.  It 
is  the  Lindiim  of  the  Romans,  by  whom  the  *'  foss-dyke,"  which  joins  its  crowded 


Fig.  113.-  Lincoln. 
From  the  Ordnance  Map.    Scale  1  :  0.3.300. 


Mile. 


harbour  to  the  Trent,  was  dug  out,  and  Ermine  Street,  which  traverses  the  city 
from  north  to  south,  constructed.  A  gateway  and  portions  of  the  Roman  wall 
survive,  and  there  is  a  castle  built  by  William  the  Conqueror,  and  now  used  as  a 
gaol  and  assize  hall,  but  all  other  buildings  are  overshadowed  by  the  superb  cathe- 


232  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

dral,  whicli  rises  proudly  upon  the  summit  of  the  hill.  In  the  early  Middle  Ages 
Lincoln  was  a  place  relatively  of  greater  importance  than  it  is  now,  and  the  only 
towns  mentioned  in  the  Domesday  Book  as  having  been  superior  to  it  were 
London  and  York  ;  and  although  in  course  of  time  it  became  a  city  of  monks, 
with  fifty-two  churches  in  the  reign  of  Edward  VL,  it  only  maiDtained  its  eminent 
position  until  the  discovery  of  coal  and  iron  in  Western  England  had  deranged  the 
natural  balance  of  population;  but  even  now  it  carries  on  a  very  considerable 
commerce,  and  employs  several  thousand  workmen  in  making  agricultural 
machinery. 

That  portion  of  Lincolnshire  which  has  not  yet  been  considered  belongs  to  the 
basin  of  the  Humber,  or  is  drained  directly  into  the  German  Ocean.  Gainsborough 
is  the  principal  town  on  the  river  Trent,  which  forms  part  of  the  western  boundary 
of  the  county,  and  up  which  an  "  eagre,''  or  bore,  rushes  with  some  impetuosity.  Its 
harbour  is  accessible  to  vessels  of  from  150  to  200  tons  burden,  and  the  town  has 
recently  acquired  some  importance  through  the  manufacture  of  agricultural 
machinery.  Epivorth,  the  principal  market  town  of  the  district  of  Axeholme,  was 
the  birthplace  of  John  Wesley,  whose  father  was  rector  of  the  parish.  Descend- 
ing the  Humber,  we  reach  the  mouth  of  the  Ancholme,  on  whose  upper  course 
is  situated  the  important  market  town  of  Brigg,  or  Glamford  Brigg,  easily  acces- 
sible by  means  of  a  navigation  canal.  Then  follow  Barton-upon-Humber,  an 
ancient  town,  formerly  strongly  fortified  ;  Netc  Holland,  opposite  to  Hull,  with 
which  it  is  connected  by  a  steam  ferry ;  and  Great  Grimsby,  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Humber.  The  latter  has  grown  into  a  place  of  very  considerable  importance 
since  1849,  in  which  year  the  clearance  of  the  choked-up  harbour  began.  Space 
was  thus  gained  for  the  construction  of  the  present  docks  and  piers,  and  the  town 
now  possesses  all  the  requisites  of  a  modern  maritime  port.  Lines  of  steamers 
connect  it  with  several  continental  markets,  and  trade  has  increased  wonderfully. 
Cleethorpe,  its  neighbour,  has  grown  into  favour  as  a  watering-place,  but  Saltfleet 
and  other  fishing  villages  farther  south  are  little  frequented,  because  the  marshy 
coast  is  uninviting. 

Louth  is  the  most  flourishing  town  at  the  eastern  foot  of  the  Wolds.  Alford, 
with  its  "  holy  well,"  said  to  be  efficacious  in  scorbutic  complaints,  lies  to  the 
south-east  of  it. 


CHAPTER  IX. 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  HUMBER. 
(Leicestershire,  Staffordshire,  Derbyshire,  Nottinghamshire,  Yorkshire.) 

General  Features. 

HE  basin  whose  outlet  is  through  the  estuary  of  the  Humber  is 
the  most  extensive  of  the  British  Isles,  for  it  exceeds  in  area  the 
basins  of  the  Thames  and  the  Severn.*  Yet  England,  to  the 
north  of  the  bay  of  the  Wash  and  the  estuary  of  the  Mersey,  is  of 
small  width,  and  the  distance  from  the  central  water-parting  to 
either  sea  is  inconsiderable.  But  though  the  basin  of  the  Humber  is  thus  hemmed 
in  between  the  "  backbone  "  of  England  and  the  coast  ranges,  it  stretches  far  to 
the  north  and  south.  Two  rivers,  the  Trent,  rising  in  the  moorlands  of  Stafford- 
shire, and  the  Yorkshire  Ouse — the  one  coming  from  the  south,  the  other  from  the 
north — combine  as  they  fall  into  the  winding  estuary  of  the  Humber,  and  discharge 
themselves  into  the  North  Sea. 

In  the  south  the  basin  of  the  Trent  penetrates  like  a  wedge  towards  the  valley 
of  the  Severn,  from  which  it  is  separated  only  by  gentle  undulations  of  the 
ground.  In  the  north,  however,  the  ground  grows  in  elevation,  at  first  forming 
heath-covered  ridges  rising  above  cultivated  fields,  and  finally  developing  into 
the  broad  upland  of  the  Pennine  chain,  which  stretches  far  away  to  the  borders 
of  Scotland.  The  "  Peak  of  Derbyshire  "  forms  one  of  the  vertebrae  of  this  "  back- 
bone" of  England.  It  is  by  no  means  a  peak,  as  its  name  would  imply,  but 
a  table-land  bounded  by  steep  scarps,  remarkable  for  its  caverns  and  subterranean 
passages,  and  rich  in  cromlechs.  The  Peak  attains  a  height  of  1,981  feet. 
Farther  north  the  moorlands  broaden  out,  but  the  depressions  which  separate 
the  rounded  masses  of  upland  facilitate  intercommunication  between  the  two 
slopes  of  the  chain. t      The  summits  increase  in   elevation  as  we   travel  to  the 

*  Area  of  the  basin  of  the  Humber  (including  Trent  and  Ouse),  9,550  square  miles  ;  basin  of  the 
Thames,  6,160  square  miles  ;  basin  of  the  Severn,  4,350  square  miles. 

t  The  "passes  "  over  the  Pennine  range  vary  in  height  between  450  and  660  feet,  the  latter  being 
that  of  the  pass  through  which  runs  the  turnpike  road  from  Huddersfield,  to  the  north  of  the  Holme  Moss. 

112— E 


234 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


north,  and  culminate  in  the  Whernside  (2,414  feet),  in  Yorkshire,  and  Cross  Fell 
(2,892  feet),  on  the  borders  of  Durham.  A  transverse  range  connects  the  Pennine 
chain  with  the  Cumbrian  Mountains,  which  are  higher  still. 

The  scenery  of  the  Pennine  range  is  by  no  means  inferior  to  that  of  the 
Malvern  Hills.  The  higher  summits,  it  is  true,  are  covered  with  heather  or  peat, 
but  their  slopes  are  wooded  or  clad  with  succulent  grasses.  The  finest  oaks  of  all 
England  shade  the  southern  slopes  of  the  hills  of  Derbyshire  and  Nottingham- 
shire. Delightful  valleys  penetrate  the  chain  wherever  we  look,  and  the  naked- 
ness of  the  rocks  enhances  the  beauty  of  the  smiling  landscapes  which  lie  at  their 
base.  Derbyshire  and  the  valley  of  the  Yorkshire  Ouse  may  fairly  dispute  with 
the  Weald  of  Kent  and  the  vale  of  Severn  the  claim  of  being  considered  the  finest 
parts  of  England.  Running  water  abounds  in  these  hills,  for  the  rains  are 
abundant.  Through  every  valley  a  winding  rivulet,  sparkling  amidst  the  verdure, 
hastens  along  to  pay  its  tribute  to  the  "  tranquil  Ure,  the  flying  Wharfe,  or  the 


Fig.  114. — The  "Peak"  of  Dehbyshire. 
Scale  1  :  110,000. 


IMae. 


superb  Ouse."  *  Caverns,  some  of  them  in  the  possession  of  miners  in  search  of 
argentiferous  lead,  abound  in  this  limestone  region,  and  the  water,  charged  with 
carbonate  of  lime,  which  trickles  from  their  roofs,  has  formed  innumerable  stalac- 
tites, whose  beauty  delights  the  visitor.  Some  of  these  caverns  have  been  explored 
by  men  of  science,  and  the  objects  discovered  in  them  have  enriched  the  museums 
of  the  country.  An  old  mine  yielded  the  remains  of  a  human  being  and  of  3,750 
animals,  belonging  to  five  difierent  species,  and  amongst  articles  of  human  work- 
manship there  was  a  precious  design  of  a  horse's  head  graven  upon  the  bone  of  an 
animal,  t 

The  uplands,  which  separate  the  basins  of  the  Trent  and  Ouse  from  the  North 
Sea,  are  pretty  regular  in  their  direction.  The  whole  of  this  littoral  region  is 
formed  of  oolitic  and  cretaceous  rocks,  which  strike  north  and  south  in  narrow 
bands.     Separated  by  the  great  fissure  through  which  the  Ouse  and  Trent  find 

*  Spenser,  «•  Faerie  Queen." 

t  W.  Boyd  Dawkins,  Journal  of  the  Geological  Society,  Feb.,  1877. 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  HUMBER. 


235 


their  way  into  the  sea,  the  hills  rise  once  more  to  the  north  of  the  estuary  of  the 
Humber,  and,  trending  round  to  the  eastward,  terminate  in  the  bold  promontory 
of  Flamborough  Head.  To  the  north  lie  the  wild  and  barren  York  Wolds, 
whose  northern  face  is  known  as  the  Cleveland  Hills,  They  are  composed  of 
liassic  strata  capped  by  oolitic  rocks,  and  abound  in  picturesque  scenery,  and  from 
their  culminating  summits  afford  at  once  a  view  of  the  distant  vale  of  the  Tees  and 
of  the  sea  studded  with  vessels.  Here  and  there  the  more  prominent  heights  are 
crowned  with  funereal  mounds,  locally  known  as  hones*  and  every  position  of 
strategical  importance  is  defended  by  vast  entrenchments.     These  entrenchments 


Fig.  115. — The  Mouth  of  the  Humber  and  Part  of  Holderness. 
Scale  1  :  450,000. 


^^^KS^mMiid 


20'  N  ofGr 


0  Gr. 


5  Miles. 


can  still  be  traced  for  miles,  and  they  converted  the  valley  of  the  Derwent,  at  the 
back  of  Scarborough,  as  well  as  the  whole  of  the  peninsula  which  is  bounded  by 
the  Humber  in  the  south,  into  vast  camps.  The  entrenchment  near  Scarborough 
is  still  known  as  the  Dane^s  Dyke.  Some  of  the  barrows,  or  hones,  on  the  Cleveland 
Hills  are  as  much  as  200  feet  in  length,  of  quadrangular  shape,  and  placed  due  east 
and  west.  Skulls  and  flint  and  bronze  implements  have  been  found  in  them, 
and  prove  that  they  do  not  all  belong  to  the  same  epoch.  Rolleston,  the 
archseologist,  is  of  opinion  that  some  of  the  skulls  resemble  those  of  the  Yeddahs 
of  Ceylon. 

*  Hog,  in  Old  Swedish  or  Jutic ;  hoi  in  Danish. 


236 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


The  coast  district,  whicli  juts  out  like  an  eagle's  beak  between  Flamborough 
Head  and  the  estuary  of  the  Humber,  and  terminates  in  Spurn  Head,  is  known  as 
Holderness.  The  whole  of  this  country  is  of  recent  formation,  and  differs  alto- 
gether from  the  rocky  hills  away  in  the  interior.  To  geologists  it  is  classic  ground, 
owing  to  the  grand  scale  on  which  it  illustrates  erosive  phenomena.  The  boulder 
clay  and  alluvial  till  form  a  sea-cliff,  here  rising  to  a  height  of  some  60  feet, 
and  extending  more  than  80  miles  along  the  coast.  Landslips  and  "shoots"  of 
detached  masses  of  rocks  are  frequent  along  this  coast  ;  the  waves  undermine  the 
foot  of  the  cliffs,  and  spread  their  triturated  waste  over  the  beach.  Not  a  storm, 
not  an  exceptionally  high  tide,  but  the  coast  is  worn  away,  and  houses,  villages, 
and  even  towns  disappear.  Ravenspur,  at  one  time  a  rival  to  Hull,  and  a 
port  so  considerable  in  1332  that  Edward  Baliol  and  the  confederated  English 
barons  sailed  from  it  with  a  great  fleet  to  invade  Scotland,  has  long  since  been 
devoured  by  the  merciless  ocean.  The  villages  of  Hyde,  Auburn,  Kilnsea,  Upsal, 
and  many  others  have  shared  the  same  fate ;  and  with  them  have  disappeared 
the  lakes  which  formerly  studded  the  plateau,  and  one  of  which,  Sandley  Mere, 
filled  a  cavity  in  the  alluvial  soil  abounding  in  the  tusks  of  elephants.  Extensive 
sands,  dry  at  low  water,  occupy  the  places  of  these  towns,  but  a  fine  rock,  known 
as  the  Matron,  still  marks  the  site  where  the  cliffs  rose  within  historic  times.* 

A  phenomenon  of  an  inverse  nature  may  be  observed  along  the  banks  of  the 
Humber,  where  the  waste  of  the  cliffs  of  Holderness  and  the  alluvial  soil  brought 
down  by  the  rivers  cause  the  land  and  the  banks  in  the  estuary  to  grow.  Sunk 
Island,  which  about  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  century  had  an  area  of  only 
10  acres,  and  was  separated  by  a  navigable  channel,  1,600  yards  wide,  from  the 
shore,  is  now  firmly  attached  to  the  mainland.  It  forms  the  apex  of  a  peninsula, 
12  square  miles  in  extent,  jutting  out  opposite  Great  Grimsby,  and  its  rich 
meadows  are  protected  by  dykes  against  the  encroachments  of  the  sea.  Similarly 
wide  tracts  formerly  covered  by  the  sea  have  become  dry  land  along  both  banks  of 
the  river  above  Hull,  but  there  nature  has  been  guided  in  her  work  by  the  genius 
of  man.  The  plain  in  which  the  Ouse  and  Trent  mingle  their  waters  was  formerly 
a  lake,  which  extended  in  rear  of  the  littoral  ranges  until  it  was  drained  by  the 
rivers  named  finding  an  outlet  into  the  Humber.  Above  the  swamps  which  then 
took  the  place  of  the  lake  there  rose  the  isles  of  Axholme,  Wroot,  Crowle,  and 
others,  and  most  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  country  established  themselves  upon 
these  more  solid  spots  to  escape  the  pestilential  vapours  rising  from  a  half-drowned 
country.  Since  the  Middle  Ages  these  swamps  have  been  drained,  and  here,  as  in 
the  fenny  land  around  the  Wash,  it  was  the  Dutch  who  initiated  the  inhabitants 
into  the  art  of  the  hydraulic  engineer.  One  of  the  principal  drains  is  still  known 
as  "Dutch  River,"  and  recalls  the  services  rendered  by  these  foreigners.  The 
whole  of  the  country  is  intersected  now  by  canals  and  drains,  and  it  is  difficult  to  trace 
the  old  channels  of  the  Don  and  Idle,  which  formerly  flowed  slowly  through  a 
plain  having  no  regular  slope.  One  of  the  first  objects  of  the  engineers  was  to  provide 
a  natural  outfall  for  the  rivers,  and  the  alluvial  soil  brought  down  in  large  quan- 
*  Philipps,  "  Rivers,  Mountains,  and  Sea-coast  of  Yorkshire  ;  "  Pennant,  "Arctic  Zoology." 


THE  BASIN  OF  THE  HUMBEE. 


287 


titles  by  the  Trent  enabled  them  to  attain  this  object,  by  spreading  the  soil  over 
the  more  inland  parts  of  the  plain,  whilst  deepening  the  drains  which  intersect  the 


Fig.  116, — Warped  Plain  of  the  Ouse  and  the  Trent. 
Scale  1  '.  .%0,000 


40' W.of  G. 


5  Miles. 


seaward  regions.  This  system  of  "  warping  "  proved  as  successful  here  as  it  had 
done  in  Italy.  The  lowlands  along  the  coast  are  still  known  as  "  marshes,"  but 
their  soil  is  as  firm  as  that  of  the  neighbouring  inland  districts.     Pure  water  was 


238  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

the  only  thing  needed  to  render  this  region  a  fit  place  of  residence  for  human 
beings,  and  that  need  has  been  abundantly  supplied  by  artesian  wells.  A  layer 
of  clay  about  25  feet  in  thickness  underlies  the  surface  soil  for  50  miles  along 
the  coast  and  10  miles  inland,  so  that  all  that  is  requisite  to  be  done  in  order  to 
obtain  pure  water  is  to  bore  through  this  clay,  when  a  fountain  will  burst  forth, 
sometimes  rising  to  a  height  of  10  feet. 

The  physiognomy  of  the  towns  and  villages  of  a  considerable  portion  of  the 
basin  of  the  Huraber  has  undergone  a  singular  change  in  the  course  of  the  nine- 
teenth century,  and  perhaps  nowhere  is  this  change  more  striking  than  in  Western 
Yorkshire.  Quiet  villages,  unfettered  rivulets,  are  found  no  longer.  The  valleys 
are  filled  with  noisy  factories  ;  every  stream  of  water  is  confined  within  bounds  to 
set  in  motion  wheels  and  turbines  ;  the  roads  are  black ;  and  even  the  atmosphere  is 
filled  with  particles  of  soot.  The  number  of  inhabitants  is  tenfold — nay,  hundred- 
fold in  certain  districts — what  it  used  to  be.  Manufacturing  towns  have  sprung 
from  the  soil  where  at  the  beginning  of  the  century  the  eye  beheld  only  open 
moors  or  forests.  These  changes  are  due  to  the  same  causes  which  have  brought 
about  similar  results  in  other  parts  of  England.  The  counties  at  the  foot  of  the 
Pennine  chain  have  learnt  to  appreciate  the  wealth  which  they  possess  in  their 
rocks — coal,  iron,  lime,  and  building  stone — and  the  inhabitants  of  Yorkshire,  at  all 
events,  have  set  themselves  to  utilise  these  treasures  with  an  eagerness  far  surpassing 
that  of  other  Englishmen.  The  people  of  Yorkshire  are,  indeed,  noted  for  their 
industry,  activity,  and  business  intelligence,  and  few  are  their  equals  in  the  art  of 
making  money.  Conservative  though  they  be — as  is  proved  by  an  adherence  to 
their  ancient  dialect — they  have  nevertheless,  in  the  course  of  becoming  a  manu- 
facturing people,  greatly  changed  their  time-honoured  customs.  And  this  perilous 
social  evolution,  whilst  it  enriched  thousands,  has  condemned  hundreds  of  thousands 
to  the  precarious  existence  of  proletarians.  How  great  the  contrast  between  the 
factory  hands  of  the  West  Riding  and  their  ancestors,  whose  hero  was  merry 
Robin  Hood ! 

Topography. 

Staffordshire  lies  wholly  within  the  great  central  plain  of  England,  and  its 
surface,  except  in  the  north,  where  it  is  broken  by  barren  hills,  including  the  Axe 
Edge  Hill  (1,810  feet),  Mow  Copt  (1,101  feet).  Weaver  Hill  (1,154  feet),  and  other 
outliers  of  the  Pennine  chain,  is  slightly  undulating,  and  upon  the  whole  fertile. 
The  river  Trent  rises  near  the  northern  boundary  of  the  county,  and  passes  through 
its  centre,  receiving  on  its  way  several  tributaries,  the  principal  of  which  are  the 
Dove,  which  forms  the  eastern  boundary  of  the  county,  and  the  Tame,  which  drains 
the  south. 

The  valley  of  the  Trent  is  noted  for  its  fertility,  but  Staff'ordshire  is  essentially 
a  manufacturing  and  mining  county.  The  distribution  of  the  bulk  of  its  popula- 
tion has  been  determined  by  the  existence  of  coal  and  iron,  and  there  are  conse- 


STAFFORDSHIRE. 


239 


quently  two  great  centres  of  industry — the  one  in  the  north,  in  the  coal  basin  of 
North  Staffordshire,  the  other  in  the  south,  around  Dudley  and  Wolverhampton. 

The  former  of  these  districts  is  drained  by  the  nascent  Trent,  and  is  known  as 
that  of  the  Potteries,  for  the  manufacture  of  earthenware  has  been  carried  on  there 
from  immemorial  times,  and  it  furnishes  most  of  the  china  which  England  exports 
to  foreign  countries,  much  to  the  increase  of  its  national  wealth.    Stoke- upon- Trent ^ 


Fig.  117. — The  District  of  the  Potteries. 
Scale  1  :  80,000. 


iMile. 


the  metropolis  of  this  district,  a  dingy  and  straggling  town,  has  raised  monuments 
to  Wedgwood  and  Minton,  the  two  men  who  by  their  genius  have  most  contributed 
towards  its  prosperity.  It  was  at  Etruria,  a  couple  of  miles  to  the  north  of  Stoke,  that 
Josiah  Wedgwood  established  his  factory  in  1771,  in  the  hope  of  being  able  to  equal 
one  day  the  productions  of  the  master  potters  of  Tuscany.  It  was  he  who  taught 
England  the  art  of  producing  a  beautiful  cream-coloured  porcelain,  such  as  had 
been  manufactured  for  a  short  time  in  the  sixteenth  century  at  the  French  village 


240  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

of  Oiron,  but  the-  secret  of  which  had  been  lost.  Wedgwood  and  Minton  bestowed 
equal  attention  upon  form  and  decoration,  and  the  ware  produced  by  them,  with 
the  aid  of  artists  of  high  repute,  far  surpasses  in  taste  the  articles  ordinarily 
made  by  English  manufacturers.  We  almost  marvel  that  these  smoky  towns 
should  have  turned  out  such  beautiful  majolicas,  and  porcelain  so  tastefully 
decorated.  Recently  a  school  of  art  adapted  to  ceramic  manufacture,  and  known  as 
the  Wedgwood  Institute,  has  been  opened  at  Burslem,  the  birthplace  of  Wedgwood. 
This  building  is  decorated  with  terra-cotta,  which  bears  witness  to  the  high  state  of 
perfection  attained  by  the  local  manufacture.  The  population  concentrated  around 
Stoke-upon-Trent  already  approaches  300,000  souls,  and  it  increases  rapidly,  for 
the  coal  basin  of  North  Staffordshire,  despite  its  small  extent,  possesses  inestimable 
advantages  in  its  alternation  of  coal  seams  and  beds  of  iron  ore.  The  remaining 
towns  of  the  Pottery  District  are  Hanky,  half-way  between  Stoke  and  Burslem, 
which  is  as  much  dependent  upon  iron,  works  as  upon  potteries  ;  Tunstall,  Small- 
thorne,  and  Kidsgrove,  the  latter  a  mining  town,  close  to  the  northern  boundary  of 
the  county.  Fentonaiid  Longton  (with  Dresden),  which  have  potteries  and  earthen 
wofks,  lie  to  the  south-east,  whilst  Newcastle-under-Lyme,  which  carries  on  a  great 
trade  in  hats  and  "shoes,  and  near  which  are  the  Silverdale  Iron  Works,  lies  to  the 
west. 

Leaving  the  district  of  the  Potteries  behind  us,  we  enter  the  agricultural 
portion  of  the  county,  and  soon  find  ourselves  in  the  midst  of  fields  and  woods, 
and  able  to  breathe  a  pure  atmosphere.  The  towns  are  few  and  far  between. 
Stoke,  on  the  banks  of  the  Trent,  is  dependent  upon  its  breweries  and  the  manu- 
facture of  boots  and  shoes.  Staffor'd,  the  county  town,  on  the  Sow,  a  tributary  of 
the  Trent,  has  several  ancient  timbered  houses,  two  interesting  churches,  and  a  shire- 
hall.  The  castle,  on  a  hill,  commands  a  view  of  the  Welsh  hills.  Izaak  Walton, 
the  celebrated  English  angler,  was  born  here.  Rugeley,  on  the  Trent,  is  noted  for 
its  horse  fairs.  It  adjoins  Cannock  Chase,  an  upland  tract,  in  which  a  little  coal, 
remarkably  fine  in  quality,  is  found.  Lichfield  lies  away  from  the  river  on  a 
navigable  canal.  Tamworth,  on  the  Tame,  which  flows  past  Birmingham  and  pays 
tribute  to  the  Trent,  is  the  centre  of  a  rich  grazing  district.  Several  of  the  towns 
named  are  seats  of  industry,  but  in  their  general  aspects  and  mediaeval  buildings  they 
contrast  strikingly  with  the  great  manufacturing  district  which  lies  farther  west. 
Lichfield,  an  episcopal  see,  boasts  a  cathedral  which,  though  small,  is  exquisitely 
beautiful.  It  was  built  1128 — 53.  St.  John's  Hospital  is  a  curious  specimen  of 
the  domestic  architecture  of  the  fifteenth  century,  whilst  the  grammar  school  has 
acquired  fame  through  Addison,  Garrick,  Bishop  Newton,  Dr.  Johnson,  and  other 
celebrated  pupils  who  attended  it.  Dr.  Johnson  was  born  at  Lichfield,  and  a 
statue  has  been  raised  in  his  memory. 

Below  the  confluence  of  the  Trent  and  Tame  there  rises  the  important  town  of 
Burton-upon-Trenty  famous  throughout  the  world  for  its  bitter  ale,  said  to  owe  its 
peculiar  qualities  to  the  carbonate  of  lime  contained  in  the  water  used  by  its 
brewers.  There  are  six  large  and  about  twenty-four  small  firms  at  Burton, 
annually  producing  between  them  about  a  million  and  a  half  barrels  of  beer. 


STAFFORDSHIRE.  241 

The  Dove  joins  the  Trent  a  few  miles  below  Burton.  In  its  upper  course  it 
flows  through  a  narrow  dale,  where  umbrageous  woods,  naked  rocks,  caverns, 
and  a  sparkling  rivulet  combine  to  form  some  of  the  most  picturesque  scenery  in 
England.  The  Churnet  is  tributary  to  the  Dove,  and  hardly  yields  to  it  in 
romantic  beauty.  On  its  banks  rises  Alton  Towers,  the  princely  mansion  of  the 
Earl  of  Shrewsbury  and  Talbot.  Higher  up  in  the  valley  limestone  is  quarried 
and  iron  ore  won.  Leek  is  a  considerable  town  near  ^he  source  of  the  Churnet, 
where  silk-thread  spinning  is  extensively  carried  on.  Cheadle,  in  the  moorlands 
to  the  west  of  the  Churnet,  is  a  small  market  town.  Uttoxeter  is  the  principal 
town  on  the  Lower  Dove.  The  inhabitants  engage  in  the  manufacture  of  clock 
cases  and  agricultural  machinery,  and  in  cork-cutting. 

There  now  remains  to  be  noticed  the  great  manufacturing  and  mining  district 
in  South  Staffordshire  known  as  the   ''Black  Country."      Though   hardly   150 

Fig.  118.— JjicHFiELn  Cathedral. 


square  miles  in  extent,  this  district  (including  the  adjoining  town  of  Birmingham, 
which  is  virtually  its  capital)  supports  more  than  a  million  inhabitants.  It  owes 
its  prosperity  to  its  mineral  treasures.  Coal,  iron,  the  limestone  required  for  fusing 
it,  and  even  the  clay  from  which  the  bricks  for  lining  the  furnaces  are  made,  are 
found  here  in  juxtaposition.  Many  discoveries  of  great  importance  have  been 
made  in  the  manufactories  of  this  district,  and  especially  in  the  Soho  Works,  near 
West  Bromwich.  The  coal  found  here  is  admirably  adapted  for  the  manufacture 
of  tar  and  aniline,  and  is  largely  used  for  these  purposes.  The  principal  coal  seam 
of  the  basin  has  a  thickness  of  10  yards,  and  has  proved  a  source  of  great  wealth. 
Unfortunately  it  is  nearly  exhausted.  There  remain  now  only  100,000,000 
tons  of  coal,  which  at  the  present  rate  of  consumption  will  hardly  suffice  for 
another  century,  at  the  close  of  which  the  manufacturers  will  have  to  migrate  to  a 
more  favoured  locality. 


242  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

The  best  view  of  the  Black  Country  is  from  Dudley  Castle,  which  occupies 
an  eminence  in  its  centre.  Dudley,  however,  lies  within  a  detached  portion  of 
Worcestershire  (see  p.  105),  and  the  most  important  Staffordshire  town  in  the 
district  under  notice  is  Wolverharnj^ton,  an  old  town  in  a  commanding  position, 
the  centre  of  the  lock  trade,  and  producing  also  all  kinds  of  hardware,  and 
japanned  and  papier-mache  articles.  The  town  is  known  also  in  the  annals  of 
aeronautics  and  meteorology,  for  it  was  here  that  Glaisher  and  Coxwell  made  their 
experimental  trip  into  the  air,  which  took  them  to  a  height  of  probably  36,000 
feet — an  altitude  never  yet  exceeded.  Walsall  is  distinguished  for  its  saddlery. 
West  Bromwich,  which  is  nearer  to  Birmingham,  manufactures  hardware  of  every 
description,  besides  glass  and  gas.  These  are  the  principal  towns  of  the  district. 
Their  satellites  engage  in  the  same  industries,  all  alike  depending  upon  the  coal 
and  iron  mines  which  are  being  worked  in  their  vicinity.  Heathtotvn,  Wednes- 
iieldy  Sedgley,  and  Tq)ton  lie  in  the  west,  around  Wolverhampton  and  towards 
Dudley  ;  WUlenhall,  Darlaston,  Bilsfon,  and  Wednesbury — the  latter  a  place  of  great 
antiquity — occupy,  with  Walsall,  the  centre  of  the  district ;  Brierley  Hill,  Rowley 
Regis,  and  Quarry  Bank  are  near  the  Worcestershire  border  ;  whilst  Smethwick  and 
Harhorne  may  almost  be  designated  suburbs  of  Birmingham  (see  Fig.  60). 

Derbyshire  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful  counties  of  England.  Its  northern 
part,  culminating  in  the  Peak,  is  full  of  moors  and  mountains,  intersected  by 
narrow  valleys,  and  dells  bounded  by  fantastic  cliffs.  Towards  the  south  the  hills 
decrease  in  height,  until  they  sink  into  the  wide  and  fertile  vale  of  the  Trent, 
which  crosses  the  southern  portion  of  the  county.  The  great  river  of  Derbyshire, 
however,  is  the  Derwent  {Der  Gwent,  i.e.  Beautiful  River),  which  rises  in  the 
Peak,  and,  flowing  through  the  centre  of  the  county,  separates  the  coal  and  iron 
district  to  its  east  from  the  more  purely  agricultural  district  to  its  west.  In 
addition  to  coal  and  iron,  Derbyshire  yields  lead,  and  is  famous  for  its  spar,  and  its 
quarries  of  marble,  gypsum,  &c.  The  manufactures  are  varied  and  of  considerable 
importance. 

Derby,  the  ancient  county  town,  has  attained  considerable  importance  as  a  seat 
of  industry.  It  was  here  J.  Lombe  established  the"  first  silk-mill  in  England,  in 
1717 ;  but  if  contemporary  evidence  can  be  accepted,  the  Englishman  who  learnt 
the  secret  of  the  manufacture  in  Italy  died  of  poison  administered  by  his  Italian 
instructors.*  This  old  factory  still  exists,  and  many  others  have  been  added  since. 
In  addition  to  hosiery,  Derby,  and  its  suburb  of  Litchiirch,  engage  in  the  manu- 
facture of  porcelain  and  of  spar  ornaments.  It  is  here  the  Midland  Railway  Com- 
pany has  established  its  head- quarters,  its  workshops  occupying  a  considerable  area. 
A  monument  has  been  erected  to  H.  Cavendish,  the  discoverer  of  the  chemical 
constituents  of  air,  in  the  church  of  All  Saints.  Flamsteed,  the  astronomer,  was 
born  in  the  neighbouring  village  of  Denby. 

Ascending  the  Derwent,  we  reach  Belper,  whose  inhabitants  find  employment 
in  cotton  and  hosiery  mills  and  in  nail-making.  Still  proceeding  on  our  journey 
up  a  valley  which  increases  in  beauty  with  every  step  we  take,  we  reach  Matlock 
*  Ch.  Dupin,  "  Force  commerciale  de  la  Grande  Bretagne." 


DERBYSHIRE. 


243 


and  its  baths,  the  centre  of  the  most  romantic  limestone  district  in  which  the 
Derwent  clears  its  way  through  a  succession  of  grand  defiles,  one  of  which  is  com- 
manded by  the  superb  High  Tor,  rising  to  a  height  of  396  feet.      The  mineral 


Fig.  119.— Dbrby. 
Prom  the  Ordnance  Survey.    Scale  1 


IMile. 


waters  of  Matlock  are  largely  charged  with  carbonate  of  lime,  and  they  quickly 
petrify  any  object  placed  in  them. 

A  few  miles  above  Matlock  we  reach  the  confluence  of  the  "Wye  and  the  Derwent. 
On  the  former,  beautifully  seated  upon  a  wooded  slope,  rises  the  ancient  town  of 
Bakeimll,  near  which  is  Haddon  Hall,  perhaps  the  finest  specimen  of  a  baronial 
dwelling  of  the  fifteenth  century  to  be  met  with  in  England.     At  the  head  of  the 


244  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

Wye,  in  a  bleak  but  bealtby  situation  1,100  feet  above  the  level  of  tlie  sea,  stands 
Buxton,  which  has  been  a  place  of  resort  for  three  hundred  years  on  account  of  the 
virtues  of  its  mineral  waters,  but  owes  something,  too,  to  the  vicinity  of  the  great 
city  of  Manchester  Meadows,  parks,  and  avenues  of  trees  environ  the  sumptuous 
dwellings  set  apart  for  invalids,  whilst,  far  below,  the .  Wye  courses  through  a 
savage  defile,  the  entrance  to  which  is  guarded  by  the  Chee  Tor,  a  noble  rock  300 
feet  in  height. 

Returning  to  the  Derwent,  we  soon  reach  Chatsworth,  the  noble  seat  of  the 
Duke  of  Devonshire,  in  the  midst  of  a  park  11  miles  in  circuit.  The  house  con- 
tains a  precious  collection  of  paintings,  statues  by  Thorwaldsen,  Canova,  Schadow, 
and  Gibson,  and  a  valuable  library.  The  great  conservatory  in  the  gardens 
was  built  by  Sir  Joseph  Paxton,  the  designer  of  the  Crystal  Palace,  and  one  of  the 
fountains  plays  to  a  height  of  267  feet.  Higher  up  on  the  Derwent,  in  a  charming 
situation,  stands  Hathersage,  where  needles  and  fishing-tackle  are  made,  and 
beyond  we  reach  Castleton,  in  the  very  heart  of  the  Peak.  Its  neighbourhood 
abounds  in  caverns,  that  of  the  Peak  being  traversed  by  an  underground  river. 
A  little  lead  is  won  in  the  vicinity. 

That  portion  of  Derbyshire  which  lies  beyond  the  Peak,  towards  the  north- 
west, is  drained  into  the  Mersey.  Glossop,  Hayfield,  and  other  places  in  this 
neighbourhood  carry  on  cotton-spinning,  and  depend  naturally  upon  Manchester. 

There  are  but  few  towns  in  Western  Derbyshire.  Wirksworth  and  Winster  are 
the  principal  places  of  a  lead-mining  district  of  small  importance,  to  the  west  of 
Matlock.  Ashbourne,  in  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Dove,  and  the  centre  of  a  grazing 
district,  carries  on  an  important  trade  in  cheese,  wool,  and  corn. 

Far  more  populous  is  the  great  industrial  and  mining  district  of  Eastern  Derby- 
shire, between  the  Derwent  and  the  Erwash,  the  northern  portion  of  which  is 
tributary  to  the  river  Don.  Chesterfield,  a  busj^  town  remarkable  for  its  "crooked" 
or  leaning  spire,  has  coal  mines  and  iron  works,  and  manufactures  lace,  hosiery, 
and  woollen  stuffs.  George  Stephenson,  the  engineer,  died  here  in  1848,  and  Hes 
buried  in  Trinity  Church.  Farther  south  are  the  towns  of  Claycross,  Alfreton, 
Ripley,  Heanor,  and  Ilkeston,  all  of  them  with  coal?  mines,  most  of  them  with  iron 
works,  and  some  of  them  with  hosiery- mills.  Ilkeston  rejoices,  in  addition,  in  the 
possession  of  mineral  springs. 

Leicestershire  is  almost  wholly  comprised  within  the  basin  of  the  Soar,  which 
flows  northward  through  its  centre,  and  joins  the  Trent  on  the  northern  border  of 
the  shire.  Its  surface  is  for  the  most  part  undulating,  and  Bardon  Hill,  in  Charn- 
wood  Forest,  to  the  west  of  the  Soar,  although  the  culminating  summit  of  the 
county,  does  not  exceed  a  height  of  853  feet.  To  the  east  of  the  Soar  the  country 
rises  gently  towards  the  oolitic  uplands  of  Rutland  and  N'orthamptonshire,  whilst 
in  the  south-west  the  plain  of  Leicester  extends  across  the  borders  of  the  county 
into  Warwickshire.  A  small  coal  basin  lies  towards  the  north-west.  Leicestershire 
is  famous  for  its  horses,  cattle,  and  sheep,  and  is  the  great  centre  of  the  hosiery 
manufacture. 

Leicester,  the  county  town,  occupies  the   site  of  the  Roman  city  of  Ratae,  and 


NOTTINGHAMSHIRE.  245 

here  still  exist  portions  of  Roman  walls  and  other  ancient  remains,  carefully  pre- 
served in  the  local  museum.  The  central  position  of  the  town  on  the  navigable 
Soar  has  enabled  it  to  play  an  important  part  in  the  history  of  England.  It  was 
here  that  Richard  III.  and  Cardinal  Wolsey  died.  But  it  is  more  especially  from 
the  beginning  of  this  century  that  Leicester  has  grown  into  a  large  town,  its 
population  since  1850  having  more  than  doubled.  This  increase  is  due  almost 
solely  to  the  development  of  the  hosiery  trade,  of  which  Leicester  is  the  head- 
quarters, and  which  employs  many  thousand  hands  throughout  the  county.  The 
famous  Leicester  sheep,  which  produce  long  combing  wool,  pasture  in  the  valley 
of  the  Upper  Soar,  towards  the  old  towns  of  Hinckley  and  Market  Bosworth,  near 
which  the  Earl  of  Richmond  defeated  Richard  III.  (1485),  and  on  the  downs 
stretching  along  the  southern  confines  of  the  shire.  The  only  places  in  this  remote 
part  of  the  county  are  Lutterworth,  on  a  feeder  of  the  Avon,  of  which  John  Wick- 
liffe  was  rector  (1375 — 84),  and  Market  Harhorough,  on  the  Welland,  a  favourite 
resort  of  hunting-men  during  the  winter.  Indeed,  the  openness  of  a  great  part  of 
the  county  is  favourable  to  sportsmen,  and  Melton  Mowbray,  on  the  Wreke, 
which  joins  the  Soar  from  the  east,  is  the  great  head-quarters  of  fox-hunting,  and 
its  stables  afford  accommodation  to  five  or  six  hundred  horses.  The  town,  more- 
over, is  noted  for  its  pork  pies,  and  exports  the  famous  Stilton  cheese  made  in 
its  environs.  Quorndon,  on  the  Soar,  within  a  short  distance  of  the  granite  quarries 
of  Mount  Sorrel  and  the  lime-kilns  of  Barrow,  is  the  head-quarters  of  the  Quorn 
Hunt.  Loughborough,  on  the  Lower  Soar,  and  the  much  smaller  town  of  Castle- 
Donington,  farther  north,  engage  in  the  manufacture  of  woollen  hosiery,  and  the 
former  has  in  addition  a  bell  foundry  and  locomotive  factory. 

Ashby -de-la- Zouch  retains  its  ancient  name,  half  Danish,  half  Norman.  It  is 
the  centre  of  a  coal  basin.  Whitwick,  to  the  east  of  it,  on  the  fringe  of  Charn- 
wood  Chase,  is  remarkable  for  the  modern  Roman  Catholic  abbey  of  Mount 
St.  Bernard,  the  first  establishment  of  the  kind  completed  in  England  since  the 
Reformation. 

Nottinghamshire  in  the  main  consists  of  the  broad  and  fertile  plain  of  the 
Trent,  which  opens  out  upon  the  alluvial  lowland  at  the  head  of  the  Humber,  and 
of  a  broken  hill  country  which  occupies  the  western  portion  of  the  shire.  The  soil 
in  the  latter  is  sandy  and  gravelly,  and  the  whole  region  from  the  Trent  to  "Work- 
sop, in  the  basin  of  its  tributary  the  Idle,  was  formerly  comprehended  within 
Sherwood  Forest,  the  principal  scene  of  the  adventures  of  Robin  Hood  and  his 
companions.  Coal  occurs  along  the  western  boundary,  and  the  manufacture  of 
bobbinet,  or  lace,  and  of  hosiery,  employs  thousands  of  hands. 

Nottingham  occupies  a  steep  declivity  overlooking  the  Trent.  It  is  a  place  of 
great  antiquity,  with  a  castle  built  by  William  the  Conqueror,  now  converted  into 
an  art  museum.  The  Standard  Hill,  upon  which  Charles  I.  unfurled  the  royal 
standard  in  1642,  adjoins  this  ancient  stronghold.  Like  Leicester,  the  county 
town  of  Nottinghamshire  has  grown  into  a  great  seat  of  industry,  famous  for  its 
hosiery,  bobbinet,  and  machinery.  The  same  branches  of  industry  are  carried  on  at 
the  neighbouring  towns  of  Sneinton,  Lenton,  Basford,  Hucknal  Torkard,  and  Arnold. 


246  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

Newark'Upon- Trent  is  a  town  of  breweries,  like  Burton,  and  the  capital  of  the 
agricultural  portion  of  the  county,  where  great  corn  and  cattle  markets  are  held. 
King  John  died  within  the  castle  whose  ruins  crown  a  neighbouring  hill.  Bing- 
ham is  a  market  town  in  the  fruitful  vale  of  Bel  voir,  which  stretches  across  the 
southern  boundary  of  the  county  into  Leicestershire,  and  is  named  after  Belvoir 
Castle,  the  stately  residence  of  the  Duke  of  Rutland. 

Mansfield  and  Sutton-in-Ashfield  are  the  principal  towns  in  Sherwood  Forest. 
Collieries  and  quarries  are  near  them,  and  hosiery  is  manufactured.  Newstead 
Abbey,  farther  south,  in  the  midst  of  the  "  Forest,"  is  doubly  interesting  on  account 
of  its  ivy-clad  facade  of  the  twelfth  century,  and  its  association  with  Lord  Byron. 
Worksop,  in  the  basin  of  the  Idle,  is  a  quiet  country  place,  doing  a  large  trade  in 
malt.  Near  it  are  a  colliery  and  several  noble  parks.  Retford,  the  centre  of  a 
rural  parliamentary  borough  on  the  Idle,  carries  on  a  considerable  trade  in  corn 
and  malt. 

Yorkshire  is  by  far  the  largest  and  most  important  county  of  England.  It 
extends  along  the  Grerman  Ocean  from  the  bay  of  the  Tees  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Humber,  and  stretches  inland  to  the  summit  of  the  Pennine  chain  and  beyond. 
Politically  the  county  is  divided  into  the  city  of  York  and  its  Ainsty,  and  the 
three  districts  called  the  North,  West,  and  East  Ridings.  Geographically,  how- 
ever, it  consists  of  several  well-defined  regions,  and  of  these  the  fruitful  vale  of 
York  is  by  far  the  most  extensive  and  important.  This  vale,  or  plain,  extends  from 
the  southern  confines  of  the  county,  beyond  the  river  Tees,  into  Durham.  It  is 
drained  by  the  river  Ouse  and  its  tributaries.  On  the  east  the  fertile  vale  of 
Pickering  opens  out  into  it  like  a  huge  bay,  extending  to  the  sea  near  Scarborough, 
and  separating  the  wild  oolitic  moors  of  North  Yorkshire  from  the  chalky  wolds  of 
the  East  Riding.  These  latter  form  a  screen  around  the  fertile  alluvial  tract  of 
Holderness,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Humber. 

Western  Yorkshire  consists  of  wild  moorlands,  which  attain  their  highest  eleva- 
tion in  the  Craven  district  in  the  north,  and  are  intersected  by  valleys  renowned 
for  their  picturesque  scenery.  As  we  proceed  south  the  hills  decline  in  height,  and 
gradually  merge  into  monotonous  moorlands.  But  \yhat  South-western  Yorkshire 
lacks  in  scenery  is  amply  compensated  for  by  the  mineral  treasures,  coal  and  iron, 
which  are  hidden  in  its  soil,  and  which  have  given  birth  to  one  of  the  busiest  manufac- 
turing districts  of  the  world.  Yorkshire  holds  the  first  place  for  its  woollens,  but  the 
manufacture  of  iron  and  of  every  description  of  ironware  also  furnishes  occupation 
to  thousands,  and  some  of  the  cotton-mills  rival  those  of  Lancashire  in  their  huge 
proportions.  The  county  holds,  moreover,  a  prominent  position  for  its  agriculture. 
Its  horses,  cattle,  and  sheep  are  in  high  estimation,  and  the  hams  of  Yorkshire  are 
famous  throughout  England. 

Right  in  the  centre  of  the  great  fertile  plain  which  forms  so  striking  a  physical 
feature  of  the  county,  admirably  situated  as  a  place  of  commerce  on  the  great 
natural  high-road  which  connects  England  with  Scotland,  and  on  the  navigable 
Ouse,  rises  the  ancient  city  of   York.      As  long  as  the  subterranean  treasures 


YORKSHIRE. 


247 


in  the  western  moorlands  remained  untouched,  York  was  able  to  maintain  its 
commercial  supremacy.  It  is  only  natural  that  the  great  north  road,  instead 
of  following  the  sinuosities  of  the  coast-line,  should  take  a  more  direct  course  at 
some  distance  inland.  Leaving  the  Fens  around  the  Wash  to  the  east,  the  road 
descends  the  valley  of  the  Trent,  and  then  skirts  the  marshes,  in  the  midst  of  which 
the  water  of  the  Trent  mingles  with  that  of  the  Ouse.  Having  followed  the  latter 
as  far  as  the  point  where  it  turns  abruptly  to  the  south,  it  becomes  necessary  to 
cross  to  the  other  bank,  in  order  to  avoid  a  long  det6ur  to  the  west.  It  was  at 
this  natural  crossing-place  that  the  Brigantes  had  founded  their  capital  of  EburaCy 
or   Ehorac,   which    subsequently  expanded    into   Eboracum,   the   most   important 


Fig   120.-  York. 
Scale  1  :  286,000. 


*w;?;3 


W.ofG  1*5 


45' 


Roman  colony  in  Britain.  It  was  here  Septimius  Severus  died  in  211.  The 
political  authorities  of  the  Empire  were  in  course  of  time  superseded  by  the  powers 
of  the  Church.  Early  in  the  seventh  century  York  became  the  seat  of  a  bishop, 
and  subsequently  of  an  archbishop,  who  disputed  with  his  rival  of  Canterbury  the 
primacy  of  all  England.  York  and  London  are  the  only  cities  in  England  whose 
chief  magistrate  bears  the  title  of  Lord  Mayor. 

A  few  Roman  foundations  may  still  be  traced  at  York,  but  all  Roman  buildings 
have  disappeared,  and  the  many  curious  edifices  of  the  city  belong  to  the  Middle 
Ages.  A  tower,  built  by  William  the  Conqueror  upon  Roman  foundations,  rises 
within  the  castle  precincts,  by  the  side  of  the  modern  County  Court  and  gaol. 
Ancient   walls,  nearly  3    miles  in   circuit,    still    surround   the   city,   and   afford 


248 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


pleasant  walks.  The  minster,  which  rises  on  the  highest  ground  within  them,  is 
not  the  structure  of  a  single  age,  but  nevertheless  exhibits  a  remarkable  unity  of 
design;     Its  west  front  fully  deserves  its   reputation,  but  the  two  towers  which 

Fig.  121.— York  Minster. 


flank  it,  as  is  the  case  with  most  of  the  old  English  cathedrals,  are  not  sufficiently 
lofty  in  proportion  to  the  size  of  the  nave.  York,  as  compared  with  the  more 
modern  towns  in  the  manufacturing  district,  rejoices  in  the  possession  of  greater 
wealth  bequeathed  by  the  past.     Its  museums  are  more  interesting,  its  scientific 


YOEKSHIEE.  249 

and  literary  life  more  active,  and  its  individual  character  more  strongly  marked. 
York,  indeed,  by  its  general  physiognomy,  is  the  most  English  town  of  all  England. 
Flaxman,  the  sculptor,  was  born  here.  The  battle  of  Stamford  Bridge  (1066), 
between  Harold  of  England  and  Harald  Hardrada  of  Norway,  was  fought  to  the 
east  of  York,  on  the  Derwent;  that  of  Marston  Moor  (1644)  about  7  miles  to  the 
west. 

Tadcaster,  the  Roman  Calcaria,  lies  8  miles  to  the  south-west  of  York,  and  near 
it  is  the  field  of  the  battle  of  Towton,  fought  in  1461  between  King  Edward,  of 
York,  and  the  Lancastrians,  in  which  the  latter  were  defeated,  with  a  loss  of  40,000 
men.  The  fight  was  thickest  in  the  field  still  called  the  *'  Bloody  Meadow."  In  a 
sweet-brier  hedge  by  its  side  the  white  rose  now  mingles  with  the  red  rose,  and 
after  having  hurried  thousands  into  a  bloody  death,  these  flowers  have  become 
symbols  of  peace. 

Vessels  of  more  than  100  tons  burden  ascend  the  Ouse  as  far  as  York.  Those 
of  greater  size  only  proceed  to  Selbij,  a  place  of  commerce,  with  a  magnificent 
abbey  church,  or  to  Goole,  the  great  rival  of  Kingston-upon-HuU.  Goole,  close  to 
the  confluence  of  the  *' Dutch  River"  with  the  Ouse,  is  a  shipping  port  of  con- 
siderable importance.  It  imports  fruit  and  vegetables  from  Belgium  and  the 
Netherlands,  and  exports  iron,  cloth,  and  building  stones. 

Ascending  the  river  Don,  which  traverses  the  southern  portion  of  the  plain  of 
York,  we  pass  Thome,  a  market  town  of  the  Isle  of  Axholme,  and  reach  Boncaster, 
the  Daniim  of  the  Romans,  and  anciently  the  capital  of  the  county.  It  is  a  quiet 
town,  contrasting  with  the  busy  hives  of  industry  to  the  west  of  it.  Only  once  in  the 
year,  during  the  race  week  in  September,  is  it  stirred  into  life,  but  it  then  attracts 
pleasure-seekers  and  sporting-men  from  the  whole  of  England.  The  modern  Gothic 
church  of  Doncaster  is  one  of  the  finest  works  of  Sir  Gilbert  Scott.  The  Great 
Northern  Railway  works,  for  the  manufacture  of  carriages  and  locomotives,  are 
close  to  the  town. 

Pickering  lies  in  the  centre  of  the  vale  named  after  it,  which  is  drained 
by  the  Upper  Derwent.  Malton,  lower  down  on  that  river,  is  a  place  of  some 
importance.  Near  it,  on  a  height  overlooking  the  river,  rises  Castle  Howard, 
the  magnificent  seat  of  the  Earl  of  Carlisle,  containing  a  noble  collection  of 
works  of  art. 

The  York  Moors  occupy  the  north-western  portion  of  the  county,  rising  boldly 
above  the  vales  of  York  and  Cleveland,  and  presenting  picturesque  clifis  towards 
the  German  Ocean.  The  greater  part  of  this  wild  country  is  given  up  to  sheep 
grazing,  and  the  narrow  valleys  which  intersect  it  are  but  sparsely  peopled. 
Within  the  last  fifty  years,  however,  the  discovery  of  ironstone  has  attracted  a 
large  mining  population. 

Midclleshorough,  the  largest  town  in  the  district,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Tees,  owes 
its  rapid  growth,  if  not  its  existence,  to  the  discovery  of  this  iron.  In  1829 
there  stood  but  a  solitary  house  upon  the  site  of  Middlesborough,  whilst  now 
the  atmosphere  is  blackened  with  the  smoke  ascending  from  blast  furnaces  and 
iron  works,  and  there  is  hardly  to  be  seen  a  blade  of  grass  or  a  tree  to  relieve  the 

113— E 


260 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


dreariness.  The  great  iron  works  of  this  prosperous  town  were  originally  con- 
structed for  the  treatment  of  Spanish  and  Algerian  ores,  but  they  now  draw  most 
of  their  supplies  from  the  Cleveland  Hills,  which  form  the  northern  escarpment 
of  the  Moors,  and  yield  nearly  one-third  of  all  the  iron  ore  found  in  Great 
Britain.  In  addition  to  iron  and  steel,  Middlesborough  manufactures  machinery 
and  earthenware,  and  carries  on  a  most  extensive  commerce.  Its  growth  has, 
indeed,  been  unparalleled  in  Europe,  and  only  Barrow-in-Furness  can  compare 
with  it. 

Guisborough,  the  centre  of  the  mining  district,  is  a  town  of  great  age,  with 
the  ruins  of  an  Augustinian  priory.  Other  places  in  the  vicinity  are  Skelton-in- 
Cleveland,  Orrheshy,  and  Novmanhy. 

Northallerton   and    Thirsk   are   quiet    agricultural   towns  at   the   foot  of  the 


Fig.   122. — MiDDLESBORO.UGH    AND    StOCKTON-ON-TeES. 
1  :  97,600. 


Mile. 


Hambleton  Hills,  which  form  the  western  escarpment  of  the  Moors,  and  on  the 
margin  of  the  vale  of  York.  Near  Northallerton  was  fought  the  Battle  of  the 
Standard  (1138).  Helmsley  lies  at  the  southern  foot  of  the  Moors,  on  the  fringe  of 
the  vale  of  Pickering.  The  ruins  of  Rivaulx  Abbey,  the  first  Cistercian  house 
established  in  Yorkshire  (1132),  are  near  it. 

Far  more  widely  known  than  either  of  these  agricultural  towns  of  Yorkshire 
are  the  watering-places  which  dot  the  coast  from  the  mouth  of  the  Tees  to  Flam; 
borough  Head.  The  most  renowned  amongst  them  are  Whitby  and  Scarborough. 
Whitby,  at  the  mouth  of  the  river  Esk,  which  rises  in  the  Cleveland  Hills,  is  at  the 
same  time  a  shipping  port  and  a  watering-place,  and  occupies  a  most  picturesque 


YORKSHIRE. 


251 


site.  There  are  alum  works  in  the  vicinity,  and  the  herring  fishery  gives  employ- 
ment to  many  of  the  inhabitants,  but  the  town  is  more  widely  known  for  its  jet 
ornaments.  This  industry  has  been  carried  on  here  from  immemorial  times,  as 
is  proved  by  the  discoveries  made  in  the  hones  which  crown  the  neighbouring 
hills,  and  the  pilgrims  who  during  the  Middle  Ages  paid  their  devotions  in  the 
abbey  of  Whitby  never  failed  to  carry  away  with  them  a  cross  or  a  rosary  made 
of  jet. 

Scarborough,  the  "  Queec  of  the  northern  watering-places,"  possesses  resources 
and  amusements  far  exceeding  those  of  its  neighbour  Whitby.  It  is  built 
at  the  foot  and  on  the  top  of  two  cliffs,  separated  by  a  chasm  spanned  by  a 
lofty  bridge,  which  joins  the  old  town  to  the  Spa,  Museum,  and  other  buildings 


Fig.  123. — Scarborough. 
Scale  1  :  310,000. 


ec       w.ofG. 


Ancient  Entrenchments. 


Tumuli. 


5  Miles. 


specially  constructed  for  the  accommodation  of  the  20,000  visitors  who  annually 
flock  to  it.  The  Marine  Aquarium  is  larger  than  that  of  Brighton.  From  the 
keep  of  the  Norman  castle  which  commands  the  old  town  we  look  down  with 
admiration  upon  the  sands  which  stretch  along  the  foot  of  the  limestone  cliffs. 
Scarborough  has  been  a  place  of  commerce  for  centuries,  and  its  port,  protected  by 
two  piers,  affords  shelter  to  the  largest  vessels.  The  coasting  trade  carried  on  is 
considerable,  and  the  herring  fishery  is  a  source  of  profit.  Still  the  importance 
of  the  town  is  derived  almost  exclusively  from  the  crowds  of  visitors  annually 
attracted  by  its  picturesque  scenery,  bracing  air,  smooth  sands,  chalybeate  springs, 
and  varied  resources  for  amusement. 

Filey,  to  the  south-east  of  Scarborough,  on  the  spacious  bay  to  which  it  gives 


252  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

name,  is  protected  by  a  spit  of  sand,  and  offers  great  advantages  as  a  naval  station. 
Amongst  other  watering-places  along  this  coast  Redmr  and  Saltburn-bt/-the-Spa 
deserve  to  be  mentioned. 

The  crescent- shaped  range  of  the  cretaceous  York  Wolds  extends  from  the 
Humber  above  Hull  to  Flamborough  Head,  and  presents  a  bold  escarpment 
towards  the  vales  of  York  and  Pickering,  at  the  foot  of  which  lie  the  market 
towns  of  Market  Weighton  and  Pocklington.  The  towns  along  the  inner  rim, 
which  merges  in  the  lowlands  of  Holderness,  are  far  more  important.  Foremost 
amongst  them  is  Kingston-upon-HuU,  usually  known  as  Hull,  from  the  small 
tributary  of  the  Humber  at  the  mouth  of  which  it  has  been  built.  Hull  is  the 
great  port  of  the  whole  region,  and  on  the  east  coast  of  England  it  holds  a  place 
analogous  to  that  of  Liverpool  on  the  west  coast.  The  great  port  of  tlie  Mersey 
is  fed  by  the  manufacturing  district  of  Lancashire  ;  that  of  the  Humber  is 
the  emporium  of  Yorkshire  :  the  former  trades  in  cotton  and  cottons,  the  latter 
in  wool  and  woollens.  Hull,  in  certain  respects,  enjoys  advantages  superior 
even  to  those  of  Liverpool,  for  the  Humber  and  its  many  navigable  tributaries 
place  it  in  facile  communication  with  a  considerable  portion  of  Central  England. 
But  though  possessing  the  advantage  as  regards  the  river  and  coasting  trades,  it 
is  less  favoured  with  respect  to  the  world  at  large.  Hull  can  look  only  to 
Germany,  Scandinavia,  and  the  Baltic  to  feed  its  commerce,  whilst  Liverpool  faces 
not  only  Ireland,  but  also  the  New  World,  and  trades  largely  with  Africa. 

This  advantage  of  Liverpool,  however,  only  revealed  itself  after  America 
had  been  discovered  and  distinct  colonies  established,  and  for  a  considerable 
period  Hull  was  her  superior.  In  the  fourteenth  century  it  was  the  third  port 
of  England,  ranking  next  to  London  and  Bristol.  It  furnished  Edward  III. 
with  sixteen  vessels,  manned  by  500  sailors,  to  be  employed  against  France. 
As  long  as  England  was  a  grain-exporting  country — that  is,  until  about  1770— 
large  flotillas  of  barges  laden  with  corn  descended  all  the  rivers  which  discharge 
themselves  into  the  Humber,  and  Hull  was  the  natural  emporium  through  which 
the  corn  trade  with  Holland  was  carried  on.*  A^  the  present  time  Hull  ranks 
fifth,  and  it  imports  corn,  flour,  and  other  agricultural  produce,  as  well  as  cattle, 
from  Germany,  Denmark,  and  the  Baltic.  Wool  and  tobacco  likewise  figure 
largely  amongst  the  imports,  in  return  for  which  Hull  exports  the  produce  of 
the  numerous  industrial  inland  towns  as  well  as  of  its  own  machine  shops, 
chemical  works,  oil-crushing  mills,  and  other  factories.  Lines  of  steamers  place 
Hull  in  regular  communication  with  all  the  ports  of  the  east  coast  of  Great 
Britain  and  of  Northern  Europe.  Hull  was  one  of  the  first  towns  to  take  advan- 
tage of  the  maritime  route  to  Siberia  opened  up  by  the  persistent  labours  of 
Nordenskjold.  In  1877  a  Hull  steamer  laden  with  coal  and  petroleum  reached 
Tobolsk.  The  docks,  constructed  since  1778,  and  the  crescent-shaped  roadstead 
of  the  river,  here  2  miles  in  width,  are  at  all  times  crowded  with  shipping  of 
every  description.  There  are  ship.building  yards,  principally  for  the  construc- 
*  Halley,  "Atlas  Maritimus  et  Commercial  is,"  1728. 


YOEKSHIRE.  253 

tion  of  iron  vessels.  Hull  has  a  fine  park,  a  museum,  and  several  learned  societies. 
Wilberforce  was  born  here,  and  a  monument  has  been  raised  in  his  honour. 

Cottingham,  a  suburban  village  of  Hull,  with  many  market  gardens,  lies  on 
the  road  to  Beverleij,  a  very  ancient  city,  at  one  time  of  greater  importance  than 
its  neighbour  Hull,  and  still  the  capital  of  the  East  Riding.  Beverley  boasts  a 
remarkably  fine  minster.  There  are  chemical  and  agricultural  machinery  works, 
and  a  great  trade  in  corn  and  provisions  is  carried  on.  Passing  through  Great 
Driffield,  we  reach  Bridlington,  with  its  fine  priory  dhurch,  and  Bridlington  Quay, 
its  port,  on  the  great  bay,  protected  in  the  north  by  Flamborough  Head.  A 
chalybeate  spring  and  several  intermittent  springs,  known  as  the  "  Gipsies," 
are  near  the  town.  Geologists  will  be  interested  in  the  caverns  and  fossils  of 
the  chalk  cliffs,  as  well  as  in  the  ancient  bushes  covered  with  shells,  which  Gwyn 
Jeffreys  refers  to  the  glacial  epoch. 

There  are  no  towns  of  importance  in  the  fertile  district  of  Holderness.  The 
only  places  worth  notice  are  Patrington,  with  a  church  described  as  "  one  of  the 
glories  of  England,"  Withernsea,  and  Hornsea,  the  two  latter  quiet  seaside  places, 
as  is  implied  by  their  names. 

We  now  turn  to  the  desolate  moors  and  romantic  valleys  of  North-western 
Yorkshire,  where  the  mountains  are  steepest  and  the  population  least  dense. 
This  district,  known  for  its  greater  part  as  Craven,  is  intersected  by  the  upper 
valleys  of  the  rivers  Swale,  Ure,  Nidd,  Wharfe,  and  Aire.  It  yields  a  little  lead, 
but  no  coal :  hence  the  striking  contrast  it  presents  to  the  great  hive  of  industry 
which  adjoins  it  on  the  south. 

The  Swale,  in  its  upper  course,  flows  past  the  small  mining  villages  of  Keld 
and  E-eeth,  and  below  the  ancient  parliamentary  borough  of  Richmond  it  emerges 
upon  the  broad  plain  of  York.  The  Norman  castle  which  overshadows  this 
picturesque  town  is  now  used  as  a  militia  store.  Near  this  stagnant  town  is  the 
village  of  Hipswell,  the  reputed  birthplace  of  Wickliffe,  the  reformer. 

The  Ure,  or  Yore,  traverses  the  Wensley  Dale,  where  woollen  knitting  and 
carpet-making  occupy  some  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  small  towns  of  Haives  and 
Askrigg.  Ley  bourne,  at  the  mouth  of  the  dale,  has  a  lead  mine  ;  and  at  Middleham, 
near  it,  are  the  ruins  of  one  of  the  castles  held  by  Warwick  the  King-maker. 

Bipon  is  the  principal  town  on  the  Ure,  and  one  of  the  oldest.  Near  it  a 
funereal  mound  is  pointed  out,  which  tradition  asserts  to  contain  the  bones  of 
Saxons  and  Danes  who  fell  on  a  neighbouring  battle-field.  There  are  a  small 
cathedral  raised  above  a  Saxon  crypt  and  several  ancient  hospitals.  Studley 
Royal,  the  princely  seat  of  the  Marquis  of  Ripon,  lies  to  the  west  of  Ripon,  and 
near  it  are  the  picturesque  ruins  of  Fountains  Abbey,  at  one  time  one  of  the  most 
powerful  houses  of  the  Cistercians,  who  held  all  the  land  from  the  banks  of  the 
Ure  as  far  as  the  hills  of  Cumberland.  Boroughbridge  and  Aldboroug]i,  the  Roman 
Isurium,  are  small  towns  below  Ripon,  in  whose  vicinity  many  antiquities  have  been 
discovered.  Most  curious  amongst  these  relics  of  the  past  are  three  obelisk-like 
masses  of  ragstone,  which  have  long  puzzled  the  brains  of  antiquaries. 


254 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


The  Mdd,  in  its  upper  course,  flows  through  the  beautiful  Nidderdale,  the 
principal  town  in  which  is  Pateley  Bridge,  where  there  is  a  lead  mine.     Ripley  has 


Fig.  124. — Towns  in  South-Western  Yorkshire. 
Scale  1  :  506,000. 


5  Miles. 


an  old  castle  and  an  ambitious  new  town-hall.  At  Knareshorough  the  river  flows 
between  steep  cliff's,  wooded  at  their  foot.  Here,  too,  there  is  a  castle,  and,  besides 
this,  a  "dropping  well,"  by  the  side  of  which  "Mother  Shipton,''  the  famous 


YOEKSHIRE.  255 

prophetess  of  the  sixteenth  century,  was  born,  and  extensive  limestone  quarries. 
Ribston  is  a  small  village  below  Knaresborough,  where  Ribston  pippins  were 
first  grown.  Harrogate,  the  famous  watering-place,  occupies  a  lofty  position  above 
the  Ure.  The  first  spring  was  discovered  in  1596,  and  there  are  now  known  about 
twenty-five,  both  sulphureous  and  chalybeate. 

The  Wharfe  rises  in  Langshothdale,  and  takes  its  winding  course  through  a 
dale  renowned  for  its  scenic  charms.  It  flows  past  the  ruins  of  Bolton  Abbey  and 
the  huge  hydropathic  establishments  which  have  m^de  Ilkley  a  second  Malvern, 
until  it  reaches  Otley,  a  small  manufacturing  town,  which  is  the  capital  of  Wharfe- 
dale.  At  Wetherbij  the  Wharfe  emerges  upon  the  plain  of  York,  and  flowing  past 
Tadeaster,  it  joins  the  Ouse  a  short  distance  above  Cawood. 

The  Aire  takes  its  rise  at  the  foot  of  the  scars  of  Gordale  and  in  the  pretty 
Malham  Tarn  (1,246  feet  above  the  sea).  It  flows  near  Skipton,  the  capital  of  the 
Craven  district,  close  by  which  is  the  castle  of  the  Cliffords.  Cotton-spinning  and 
quarrying  occupy  many  of  the  inhabitants.  At  Skipton  the  Aire  leaves  behind  it 
the  rugged  limestone  region,  and  enters  upon  more  monotonous  moorlands,  the 
towns  amongst  which  will  be  described  further  on. 

A  portion  of  Yorkshire  lies  beyond  the  Pennine  chain,  and  is  drained  by  the 
river  Eibble  and  by  the  Rawthey,  a  tributary  of  the  Lune.  Sedbergh,  the  principal 
town  on  the  latter,  is  a  secluded  place  in  the  midst  of  steep  fells.  Its  grammar 
school,  however,  enjoys  some  reputation,  and  amongst  its  scholars  was  Sedgwick, 
the  geologist,  a  native  of  the  village  of  Dent,  a  few  miles  to  the  south-east,  famous 
for  its  black  marble. 

The  Ribble  rises  in  the  fells  to  the  north  of  the  Ingleborough,  and  flows 
through  a  charming  countrj^  past  the  small  town  of  Settle,  dependent  upon  agri- 
culture and  cotton-spinning,  into  Lancashire. 

We  now  enter  the  south-western  moorlands,  so  abundantly  supplied  with  coal 
and  iron,  and  traversed  in  all  directions  by  running  streams,  which  furnish  the 
motive  power  needed  by  its  innumerable  factories.  The  towns  are  crowded  together 
in  this  region,  and  in  some  localities  have  almost  blotted  out  green  fields.  The  oppo- 
site diagram  will  enable  us  to  obtain  some  notion  of  their  distribution.  Broadly 
speaking,  the  valleys  of  the  Aire  and  Calder  are  the  seats  of  the  woollen  and 
worsted  trades,  wnth  a  great  deal  of  cotton-spinning  towards  the  west ;  the  Upper 
Don  is  the  centre  of  the  iron  industry,  and  its  tributary  Dearne  that  of  the  linen 
trade. 

The  Aire  and  Calder,  which  traverse  the  northern  portion  of  this  industrial 
region,  have  vastly  changed  their  character  since  the  Middle  Ages.  Their  water  was 
famous  then  for  its  crystalline  purity,  and  a  Yorkshire  poet  cried  out,  "  Why  should 
not  the  maidens  of  Castleford  be  beautiful  ?  do  they  not  lave  themselves  in  the 
mingled  waters  of  the  Aire  and  Calder  ?  "  These  rivers,  in  our  own  day,  are  hardly 
better  than  open  sewers,  for  they  receive  the  refuse  of  innumerable  factories. 

The  Calder,  when  it  first  enters  this  district,  flows  past  the  town  oi  Keighley, 
engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  worsted  and  in  cotton- spinning,  and  known  for  its 


256 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


ingenious  washing  macliines.  In  the  valley  of  the  Worth,  which  joins  the  Aire  at 
Keighley,  is  Haworth,  the  home  of  the  Brontes.  Bingley  is  engaged  in  the  worsted 
and  woollen  trades.  Saltaire,  below  it,  is  a  model  town,  and  was  founded  in  1853 
by  the  late  Sir  Titus  Salt,  who  first  introduced  the  manufacture  of  alpaca  into 
England.  Passing  Shipley,  which  carries  on  the  same  industries  as  Bingley,  we 
reach  Leeds,  the  commercial  and  industrial  metropolis  of -the  whole  district,  by 
right  of  its  population  the  fifth  town  of  England,  but  the  first  in  the  world  for  its 
clothing  trade.  This  branch  of  industry  has  been  carried  on  here  from  very 
remote  times,  and  as  early  as  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century  the  cloth- 
makers  of  Leeds,  instructed  in  their  craft  by  Flemish  workmen,  sent  their  ware« 


Fig.  125. — Leeds. 
Scale  1  :  192,000. 


•I  Miles. 


into  every  part  of  England.  Halifax  at  that  time  was  the  most  important  manu- 
facturing town  of  the  county,  and  its  burgesses  enjoyed  the  privilege  of  beheading 
every  malefactor  who  stole  any  cloth  from  off  the  "  tenters,"  a  privilege  of  which 
they  freely  availed  themselves  until  its  abrogation  in  1650.  By  the  end  of  the 
seventeenth  century  Leeds  had  distanced  all  its  Yorkshire  rivals  in  the  clothing 
trade,  and  about  the  same  period,  in  consequence  of  the  introduction  of  coal  into 
its  factories,  it  enriched  itself  still  further  by  adding  fresh  branches  of  industry  to 
that  which  had  first  established  its  reputation.  At  the  present  day  almost  every 
description  of  cloth  is  made  at  Leeds,  but,  besides  this,  there  are  huge  flax-mills, 
iron-mills,  locomotive  works,  dye  and  bleaching  works,  felt  factories,  brass  foundries, 


YORKSHIRE.  257 

glass  houses,  chemical  works,  leather  works,  and  many  others.  The  lower  part  of 
the  town,  with  its  numerous  factories  lit  up  on  a  winter  night,  is  a  sight  never  to 
be  forgotten.  The  principal  edifices  of  Leeds  are  naturally  connected  with  its 
leading  industries ;  but,  proud  of  its  wealth,  the  metropolis  of  the  clothing  trade 
has  built  itself  a  magnificent  town-hall,  created  public  libraries  and  museums, 
erected  statues  to  its  great  men,  and  provided,  in  Woodhouse  Moor  and  Roundhay, 
ample  breathing  grounds  for  its  population.  A  grammar  school,  founded  in  1552, 
a  medical  school,  and  a  Wesleyan  college  are  the  foremost  educational  establish- 
ments of  the  town.  The  merchants  of  Leeds  own  neat  villas  on  the  surrounding 
heights,  and  more  especially  near  Chapel  Allerton.  The  ruins  of  Kirkstall  Abbey 
lie  a  short  distance  above  the  town,  near  the  Aire.  Priestley,  the  illustrious 
physicist,  was  born  near  Leeds. 

Castleford,  just  below  the  junction  of  the  Aire  with  the  Calder,  is  the  modern 
representative  of  the  Roman  station  of  Lcgeolium.  Its  glass  houses  supply 
millions  of  bottles  every  year.  Knotting  ley,  on  the  margin  of  the  plain  of  York, 
has  a  magnificent  abbey  church,  and  depends  upon  glass  works  and  limestone 
quarries.  On  the  height  of  land  to  the  south  of  Castleford  lies  the  cheerful  old 
town  of  Pontefrad,  i.e.  "  Broken  Bridge,"  often  called  Porafret.  Its  chief 
curiosities  are  the  ruins  of  the  Norman  castle  in  which  Richard  II.  was  starved  to 
death  (1400).     The  town  is  famous  for  its  liquorice. 

Bradford,  in  a  narrow  valley  which  trends  northward  towards  the  Aire,  and 
to  the  west  of  Leeds,  has  made  wonderful  progress  in  wealth  and  population  since 
the  beginning  of  this  century.  In  1801  the  town  only  numbered  13,000 
inhabitants ;  in  1822  the  first  steam-engine  was  set  up  ;  but  at  present  Bradford 
stands  foremost  for  its  woollen  stufis  and  worsted  yarns,  and  has  close  upon 
200,000  inhabitants.  No  other  town  in  Yorkshire  surpasses  it  in  public  spirit. 
The  town-hall,  with  its  carillon  chimes,  is  one  of  the  finest  buildings  in  Yorkshire ; 
there  are  three  parks ;  and  statues  have  been  raised  in  honour  of  several  bene- 
factors of  the  town.  Bierley,  almost  a  suburb  of  Bradford,  is  dependent  upon  the 
Bowling  and  Lowmoor  iron  works,  the  latter  the  oldest  and  most  important  in 
Yorkshire. 

The  river  Calder  rises  in  the  moors  around  Todmorden,  a  brisk  manufacturing 
town,  with  numerous  cotton-mills,  on  the  boundary  of  Lancashire.  This  upper 
valley  of  the  Calder  is  very  pretty,  and  would  present  scenes  of  rural  peace  and 
beauty  if  it  were  not  for  the  numerous  factories  which  have  invaded  it.  Soioerby, 
EUand,  and  Brighouse,  quiet  villages  in  former  times,  have  grown  into  little 
manufacturing  towns,  principally  engaged  in  the  production  of  textiles.  Far 
more  ancient  than  either  of  these,  and,  in  fact,  the  most  venerable  manufacturing 
town  of  Yorkshire,  is  Halifax,  which  rises  on  the  slopes  of  the  picturesque  hills 
overlooking  the  Hebble,  a  tributary  of  the  Calder.  Though  outstripped  in  impor- 
tance by  Leeds  and  Bradford,  Halifax  nevertheless  remains  one  of  the  most  interest- 
ing and  picturesque  towns  of  Yorkshire.  It  is  one  of  the  chief  seats  of  the  worsted 
and  carpet  trades..  Huddersfield  is  a  well-built  town  on  the  Colne,  which  joins  the 
Calder  from  the  south.     It  carries  on  the  manufacture  of  woollens,  cottons,  and 


258 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


machinery.  In  its  neighbourhood  are  foundries,  quarries,  and  coal  mines.  The 
smaller  towns  dependent  upon  it— such  as  Golcar,  Linthivaite,  Melt/iam,  and  Wooldale 
— engage  in  the  same  industries. 

Once  more  returning  to  the  Calder,  we  reach  Dewshury,  an  ancient  town, 
where  Paulinus  first  preached  Christianity  to  the  heathen.  Together  with  the  neigh- 
bouring town  of  Batley,  it  forms  a  parliamentary  borough.  Batley  and  Dewsbury 
are  the  head-quarters  of  the  shoddy  trade,  whose  profitable  task  it  is  to  convert 
old  clothes  into  new  cloth.      The  same  industry  engages  Morley,  Birstall,  Cleck- 


Fig.  126.— Halifax  and  Hubdersfield. 

Scale  1  :  160,000. 


1  Mile. 


heaton,  and  other  towns  in  the  vicinity ;  whilst  Heckmondwike,  to  the  east,  produces 
carpets,  blankets,  and  "  flushings."  Thornhill,  to  the  south  of  Dewsbury,  boasts  a 
fine  decorated  church  and  an  Elizabethan  mansion. 

Wakefield,  formerly  one  of  the  busiest  manufacturing  towns  of  Yorkshire,  has 
still  some  woollen- mills,  worsted-mills,  and  iron  works,  but  flourishes  principally 
as  the  great  corn  market  of  the  county.  The  feudal  enactment  which  compelled 
the  inhabitants  to  have  their  corn  ground  in  certain  mills  was  in  force  as  recently 
as  1853.  Amongst  the  scholars  who  attended  the  grammar  school  of  the  town 
were  Dr.   Radcliffe,   the  founder  of  the  Radclifie  Library,  and  Dr.  Bentley,  the 


YORKSHIRE.  259 

critic.  The  battle  of  Wakefield,  in  which  the  Duke  of  York  was  defeated  and 
slain  by  the  forces  of  Queen  Margaret,  was  fought  around  Sandal  Castle,  to  the 
south  of  the  town  (1460). 

"Bleak"  Bamsley,  an  interesting  town  on  the  river  Dearne,  is  the  centre  of 
the  linen  manufacture  of  Yorkshire.  Its  neighbourhood  abounds  in  collieries  and 
iron  works.  One  of  the  former  has  been  sunk  to  a  depth  of  1,885  feet,  and  yields 
daily  a  thousand  tons  of  coal.  Worshorough  and  Nether  Hoijland,  to  the  south  of 
Barnsley,  have  important  iron  works,  whilst  Silkstone,  to  the  west,  is  best  known 
for  its  coal.     It  was  also  the  birthplace  of  Bramah,  the  locksmith. 

The  river  Don  rises  not  far  from  Woodhead  Tunnel,  through  which  runs  the 


Fig.  127. — Sheffield. 
Scale  1  :  113,000. 


2  Miles. 


railway  connecting  South-western  Yorkshire  with  Manchester.  Thurlstone, 
Penistone,  and  Wortley  are  small  towns  on  the  Upper  Don,  which  in  its  onward 
course  traverses  the  famous  manufacturing  town  of  Sheffield.  It  is  admirably 
seated  in  the  midst  of  a  fine  amphitheatre  of  hills,  at  the  point  of  junction  of 
five  rivers,  and  above  the  stores  of  coal  which  furnish  its  numerous  factories 
with  the  fuel  indispensable  to  them.  Sheffield,  originally  a  small  feudal  village, 
has  been  for  centuries  a  place  of  iron-workers,  and  Chaucer  mentions  the 
"thwytels"  which  were  made  there.  Soon  after  the  Reformation  skilled 
Flemish    metal-workers    settled   in   the  town,   and   greatly  contributed    towards 


260  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

its  prosperity.  But  it  is  only  since  the  beginning  of  the  present  century  that 
this  Yorkshire  town  has  won  the  first  place  in  the  world  for  its  cutlery  and 
steel.  Its  population  is  seven  times  greater  now  than  what  it  was  in  1801, 
and  continues  to  increase  at  the  same  rate.  Like  London,  Manchester,  and 
Birmingham,  it  swallows  up  the  villages  in  its  neighbourhood,  and  already  its 
houses  cover  an  area  of  8  square  miles.  The  iron  won  in  this  district,  which 
is  known  as  Hallamshire,  no  longer  suffices  for  the  wants  of  the  factories,  and  addi- 
tional supplies  have  to  be  procured  from  abroad.  Most  of  the  famous  iron  of 
Sweden  is  bought  up  on  account  of  Sheffield  houses.  ~  More  ivory  is  used  in 
Sheffield  than  in  any  other  part  of  the  world.  It  has  been  computed  that  the 
ivory  handles  of  the  knives  annually  manufactured  at  Sheffield  have  a  weight 
of  200  tons,  which  would  represent  the  spoils  of  at  least  15,000  elephants. 
Cutlery,  files,  saws,  and  tools  of  every  description,  Britannia  and  electro-plated 
ware,  are  the  staple  manufactures  of  Sheffield  ;  and  there  are  also  important  iron 
and  steel  works.  The  water  supply  of  the  town  is  obtained  from  reservoirs 
formed  in  the  valleys  to  the  west.  In  1864  one  of  these  dams  burst  its 
embankment,  causing  a  great  flood,  in  which  250  persons  were  drowned  and 
much  property  destroyed.  Chantrey,  the  sculptor,  was  born  at  Norton,  a  village 
near  Sheffield. 

The  towns  and  villages  around  Sheffield  participate  in  its  industry.  RotJier- 
ham,  the  most  important  amongst  them,  has  iron  and  steel  works  as  well  as 
collieries.  Mexhoroiigh,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Dearne,  in  addition  to  iron  works, 
has  important  glass  houses.  Soon  after  passing  this  town  the  Don  emerges  from 
the  dreary  moorlands,  blackened  by  the  smoke  of  factories,  and  enters  upon  the 
smiling  plain  of  York.* 

*  For  smaller  towns  and  villages  not  mentioned  above  refer  to  the  Statistical  Appendix. 


CHAPTER  X. 


THE  BASINS  OF  THE  MERSEY  AND  THE  RIBBLE. 

(Cheshire  and  Lancashire.) 

General  Features. 

HOUGH  small  in  extent,  the  district  which  we  are  about  to  describe 
is  one  of  the  most  densely  peopled  in  the  worid,  and  green  fields 
appear  almost  obliterated  by  the  masses  of  brick  houses  raised  by 
human  hands.  Lancashire  has  more  inhabitants  within  its  limits 
than  any  other  county  of  England,  not  even  excepting  Yorkshire 
or  Middlesex — the  one  more  than  thrice  its  size,  the  other  occupied  by  the  greater 
part  of  the  metropolis.  If  the  whole  world  were  as  densely  peopled  as  Lancashire, 
it  would  hold  76,000,000,000  of  human  beings. 

At  first  view  this  county  does  not  appear  to  possess  exceptional  advantages. 
The  soil  is  only  of  middling  fertility,  and  vast  tracts  on  the  western  slope  of  the 
Pennine  chain  are  not  even  cultivated.  The  climate  is  moist,  and  the  prevailing 
winds  carry  the  sea-fogs  inland,  where  they  are  precipitated  as  rain.  The  coast,  it 
is  true,  is  indented  by  several  estuaries,  in  which  the  tide  rises  to  a  considerable 
height ;  but  this  is  an  advantage  enjoyed  by  many  other  parts  of  England.  What 
has  proved  the  great  source  of  wealth  of  Lancashire  is  its  coal  measures,  and  as 
the  coal  is  found  in  close  proximity  to  an  excellent  harbour,  it  became  at  once 
available  as  a  means  of  establishing  commercial  relations  with  foreign  countries. 
The  raw  materials  could  thus  be  conveyed  within  a  short  distance  of  the  locality  in 
which  they  were  to  be  converted  into  manufactures,  and  it  was  possible  to 
concentrate  here  commercial  emporiums,  factories,  and  mines.  The  enterprise  and 
energy  of  the  inhabitants  have  done  the  rest.  The  people  of  Lancashire  are  in  no 
respect  inferior  in  skill  to  their  neighbours  of  Yorkshire.  They  have  turned  to 
profit  all  the  resources  which  their  county  ofiers,  and  derive  benefit  even  from 
advantages  which  elsewhere  are  allowed  to  lie  sterile.  The  local  dialects  are  as 
tenaciously  preserved  as  amongst  the  dwellers  on  the  other  side  of  the  Pennine 
chain.  It  has  been  observed  that  the  large  rivers  and  estuaries  form  the  boundaries 
between  a  variety  of  local  dialects.    Where  the  rivers  can  be  forded,  or  are  spanned 


262 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


by  a  bridge,  the  same  dialect  is  heard  on  both  banks ;  but  where  they  constitute  a 
serious  obstacle  to  free  intercourse  the  dialects  differ.* 

Cheshire  consists  in  the  main  of  a  broad  plain,  which  extends  from  the  river 
Dee  to  the  Mersey,  and  is  intersected  by  the  Weaver  and  its  tributaries.  The  soil 
of  this  plain  is  for  the  most  part  loam ;  it  is  of  exceeding  fertility,  and  it  is 
impossible  to  imagine  a  finer  grazing  district.  The  grass  retains  its  verdure 
throughout  the  year,  and  the  dairy  husbandry  is  consequently  attended  to  with 
great  success.  A  broken  ridge  of  hills  divides  this  plain  into  a  western  and  an  eastern 
portion.  It  passes  into  the  county  from  the  south,  and  extends  northward  as  far 
as  the  Lower  Mersey.  Its  most  remarkable  feature  is  the  insulated  rock  of  Beeston, 
crowned  with  the  ruins  of  a  castle.  In  the  east  the  plain  is  bounded  by  a  range  of 
uplands,  known  as  Congleton  Edge  and  Macclesfield  Forest.  These  uplands  are 
a  southern  extension  of  the  Pennine  chain  ;  they  separate  Cheshire  from  Stafford- 


Fig.  128.— Chester. 
Scale  1  :  500,000. 


3' 90    W.of  G. 


2°40' 


5  Miles. 


shire  and  Derbyshire,  and  contain  coal,  iron,  and  lead.  Far  more  important  than 
either  of  these  are,  however,  the  salt  mines  and  brine  springs  in  the  valley  of  the 
"Weaver.  In  the  north-west  the  plain  of  Cheshire  runs  into  the  peninsula  of 
Wirral,  which  juts  out  to  the  Irish  Sea  between  the  estuaries  of  the  Dee  and 
Mersey.  Cotton  and  silk  spinning  and  weaving  are  the  principal  branches  of 
manufacture  carried  on. 

Chester,  the  ancient  capital  of  the  county,  is  seated  upon  the  river  Dee,  which  a 
few  miles  below  the  city  broadens  out  into  a  wide  and  shallow  estuary  close  to  the 
Welsh  frontier.  It  is  of  great  antiquity,  as  is  proved  by  its  very  name,  a  corrup- 
tion of  the  Eoman  eastnmi,  and  a  great  Roman  highway,  now  known  as  Watling 
Street,  connected  it  with  London  and  Dover.  The  foundations  of  Roman  buildings 
-and  antiquities  of  every  description  have  been  discovered.      The  Romans  called 


*  James  Pearson  ;  Nodal  and  Milner,  "  Glossary  of  the  Lancashire  Dialect." 


CHESHIRE.  263 

their  city  Devay  after  the  river  Dee.  They  certainly  worked  lead  mines  in  its 
vicinity,  for  two  *'  pigs  "  of  that  metal  have  been  found,  one  of  which  has  impressed 
upon  it  the  name  of  Vespasian.  That  which  distinguishes  Chester  more  especially 
from  all  other  towns  of  modern  England  is  its  streets  carved  out  of  the  rock,  and 
the  covered  arcades,  or  "  rows,"  in  front  of  the  first-floor  rooms  of  the  houses 
which  line  them.  The  old  Roman  ramparts  have  been  transformed  into  walls, 
which  are  wide  enough  to  allow  of  three  men  walking  abreast.  Perambulating 
them,  we  obtain  curious  glimpses  of  the  city  :  we  look  down  upon  the  famous 
♦•  Roodee,"  the  Chester  racecourse,  backed  by  the  Clwydian  hills.  The  circuit  of 
the  walls  is  interrupted  by  several  towers,  and  from  one  of  these  Charles  I.  is  said 
to  have  witnessed  the  defeat  of  his  army  on  Rowton  Heath  in  1645. 

Most  prominent  amongst  the  buildings  of  the  town  is  the  venerable  cathedral, 
reopened,  after  having  been  carefully  restored,  in  1876.  Its  foundations  date  back 
to  the  twelfth  century ;  but  the  existing  building,  which  is  chiefly  in  the  perpen- 
dicular style,  is  of  more  recent  date.  Far  more  venerable  than  the  cathedral  is  the 
church  of  St.  John,  outside  the  city  walls,  with  its  detached  belfry,  one  of  the  most 
splendid  examples  of  early  Norman  archi- 
tecture ^^'  ^^^' — Watergate  Row,  Chest 

Chester  is  still  a  seaport ;  but  neither 
its  canalised  river,  nor  the  cantil  which 
connects  the  city  with  the  Mersey  at 
Ellesmere  Port,  is  navigable  by  any  but 
the  smallest  coasting  craft.  Hence  the 
maritime  commerce  of  Chester  is  no  longer 
what  it  used  to  be.  Ship-building  and 
lead  smelting  are  carried  on  to  a  small 
extent ;  but  it  is  more  especially  through 
its  trade  in  cheese  that  Chester  has  become 

known  throughout  the  commercial  world.  Many  strangers  have  settled  in  the  city, 
attracted  by  its  pure  air  and  cheap  living.  Within  a  few  miles  of  it  is  Eaton  Hall, 
the  magnificent  seat  of  the  Duke  of  Westminster.  Tarporley,  a  quaint  old  market 
town,  where  hosiery  and  leather  breeches  are  manufactured,  lies  about  10  miles  to 
the  E.S.E.  of  Chester. 

Birkenhead,  the  principal  town  on  the  peninsula  of  Wirral,  is  a  mere  depend- 
ency of  Liverpool,  which  lies  within  sight  of  it,  on  the  opposite  bank  of  the 
Mersey,  and  with  which  a  tunnel  will  soon  connect  it.  Its  vast  docks  have  been 
constructed  since  1847,  principally  through  the  exertions  of  Mr.  Laird.  They 
cover  an  area  of  165  acres,  have  quays  10  miles  in  length,  and  235  acres  of 
warehouses.  One  of  these  artificial  basins  is  the  largest  into  which  the  waters  of 
the  Mersey  are  admitted.  Ship-building  and  machinery  are  the  principal  industries 
carried  on  here.  Tranmere  and  Wallasey  are  populous  suburbs  of  Birkenhead, 
and  from  the  latter  a  row  of  pretty  villas  extends  to  the  delightful  watering-place 
of  New  Brighton,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Mersey,  where  a  charming  view  of  the 
Welsh  hills  presents  itself,  and  the  crowds  of  shipping  entering  and  leaving  the 


264 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


port  may  be  watched.  The  two  Bebinytons  are  pleasant  villages  to  the  south-east  of 
Birkenhead  ;  whilst  Bilston,  with  the  Liverpool  Observatory,  lies  to  the  west. 
Parkgate  is  a  small  watering-place  on  the  estuary  of  the  Dee. 

Ascending  the  Mersey  above  Liverpool  and  Birkenhead,  we  reach  Runcorn,  in 
the  vicinity  of  the  mouth  of  the  Weaver — the  busy  shipping  port  of  the  Stafford- 
shire Potteries,  and  of  the  salt  mines  in  the  basin  of  the  Weaver.  That  river  is 
fed  by  numerous  streams  which  rise  in  the  saliferous  triassic  formation.  The 
names  of  several  towns  in  its  neighbourhood  terminate  in  the  Celtic  wich, 
or  rather  wyche,  which  signifies  "  salt  work,"  and  must  not  be  confounded 
with    the    Danish    wicl',    the    meaning   of    which    is    "bay."      Of    these    salt 

Fig.  130.— Chester  Cathedral  (as  restored). 


mines  and  brine  springs  those  at  Northwich  are  by  far  the  most  productive. 
The  saliferous  strata  have  a  total  thickness  of  about  100  feet,  and  extend 
for  a  considerable  distance  beneath  the  soil.  They  are  honeycombed  by  the 
galleries  excavated  by  the  miners,  and  although  these  are  supported  by  a 
multitude  of  pillars,  the  ground  has  given  way  in  many  places,  and  a  portion  of 
the  town  had  to  be  deserted  by  its  inhabitants,  who  have  built  themselves  fresh 
dwellings  at  Witton  and  other  villages  in  the  neighbourhood.  Middlewich,  on  the 
Dane,  a  tributary  of  the  Weaver,  and  NanUdch,  a  quaint  old  town,  on  the  Weaver 
itself,  are  the  principal  amongst  the  other  salt  towns  of  Cheshire.  In  favourable 
years  the  mines  and  springs  of  the  Weaver  basin  yield  over  1,000,000  tons  of  salt, 


LANCASHIRE.  265 

whicli  supplies  a  profitable  cargo  to  outward-bound  merchantmen,  and  in  this 
manner  the  miners  of  Cheshire  contribute  largely  to  the  prosperity  of  the  great 
port  of  the  Mersey.  Most  of  this  salt,  which  is  cut  into  huge  quadrangular  blocks, 
is  sent  to  India,  E-ussia,  and  the  United  States.  The  salt  mines  of  Cheshire  may 
be  less  famous  than  those  of  Wieliczka  in  Galicia,  or  of  Hallein  and  Hallstatt  in 
Austria,  but  commercially  they  are  certainly  of  far  greater  importance. 

Crewe,  to  the  east  of  Nantwich,  has  grown  from  an  agricultural  village  into  a 
populous  hive  of  industry  since  the  establishment  of  the  locomotive  factories  of 
the  London  and  North- Western  Railway  Company.  There  are,  besides  these,  iron 
and  Bessemer  steel  works. 

Sandhach,  Congleton,  Macclesfield,  and  Bollington,  to  the  north-east  of  Crewe, 
and  at  the  foot  of  the  picturesque  range  of  heights  which  stretches  along  the 
eastern  border  of  the  county,  are  the  centres  of  a  manufacturing  district,  in  which 
silk  spinning  and  weaving  are  the  principal  branches  of  industry  carried  on. 
Macclesfield,  the  most  important  of  these  towns,  engages  also  in  the  velvet  and 
cotton  trade,  and  near  it  are  coal  mines  and  quarries. 

A  second  manufacturing  district  of  even  greater  importance  occupies  the  north- 
eastern portion  of  the  county,  extending  down  the  picturesque  valley  of  the 
Mersey,  almost  from  its  origin  in  the  moorlands  of  Yorkshire  to  wdthin  a  few 
miles  of  its  junction  with  the  Irwell.  Cotton  is  king  in  this  district,  the  natural 
head- quarters  of  which  are  at  Manchester.  Stockport  is  the  great  cotton  town  of 
Cheshire.  It  occupies  a  beautiful  site  on  both  banks  of  the  Mersey,  here  spanned 
by  a  fine  viaduct,  and,  in  addition  to  cotton  stufis,  produces  felt  hats.  Higher  up 
on  the  Mersey  are  Hyde,  one  of  the  most  prosperous  of  these  cotton  towns, 
Dukinfield,  and  Stalyhridge,  which,  in  addition  to  cotton-mills,  have  important 
machine  works,  and  manufacture  nails  and  rivets.  Bredbury  and  Mottram  are  the 
principal  towns  in  the  Longdondale,  which  joins  the  Mersey  above  Stockport. 
The  hills  along  its  sides  yield  coal  and  iron. 

Descending  the  Mersey,  we  pass  Sale,  a  small  manufacturing  town,  and, 
turning  away  from  the  river,  reach  Altringham,  or  Altrincham,  a  clean  and  cheerful 
town,  with  a  few  flax-mills,  close  to  Bowden  Downs  and  the  beautiful  park  of 
Dunham  Massey. 

Lymm,  near  the  confluence  of  the  Bollin  with  the  Mersey,  and  Knutsford,  half- 
way between  the  Bollin  and  the  Weaver,  are  prosperous  market  towns. 

Lancashire  naturally  falls  into  three  parts,  of  which  the  first  lies  between  the 
Mersey  and  the  Ribble,  and  is  the  great  seat  of  the  cotton  industry  of  the  British 
Islands  ;  the  second  stretches  to  the  north  of  the  Ribble,  and  is  mainly  agricultural ;. 
whilst  the  third  includes  the  hundred  of  Furness,  a  detached  part  of  the  county 
lying  beyond  Morecambe  Bay,  which  has  recently  attained  considerable  importance 
on  account  of  its  iron  mines  and  furnaces.  The  central  and  eastern  portions  of 
Southern  Lancashire  are  occupied  by  hilly  moorlands,*  which  throw  off"  a  branch 
in  the  direction  of  Liverpool,  and  thus  separate  the  plain  of  the  Mersey,  with  its 
mosses,  from  the  western  maritime  plain,  which  near  the  coast  merges  into 
*  Pendle  Hill,  their  culminating  point,  attains  a  height  of  1,816  feet. 
114— E 


266 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


forbidding  niarslies.  These  moorlands  are  not  by  any  means  fertile,  and  before 
tbe  coal  mines  which  lie  amongst  them  were  opened  to  become  a  source  of  wealth 
to  the  county,  they  supported  only  a  small  population.  Since  then  hamlets  have 
grown  into  towns,  towns  into  provinces  of  houses,  and  there  is  not  a  district  of 
similar  extent  in  England  which  supports  so  large  a  number  of  inhabitants. 
Northern  Lancashire  includes  a  similar  tract  of  moorland  in  the  west,  which  rises 


Fig.  131. — Towns  in  Lancashire  and  Cheshibe. 
Scale  1  :  792,000. 


W  of  Gi 


10  MUes. 


to  a  height  of  1,709  feet  in  the  Bleasdale  Moors ;  but  for  the  most  part  it  consists 
of  a  broad  plain,  the  maritime  portion  of  which,  between  the  Ribble  and  Lancaster 
Bay,  is  known  as  the  Fylde.  The  hundred  of  Furness  forms  part  of  the  Cumbrian 
region,  and  within  it  lie  a  portion  of  the  Windermere  and  Coniston  Water,  from 
the  banks  of  which  Coniston  Old  Man  rises  to  a  height  of  2,655  feet. 


LANCASHIRE. 


267 


The  coast  of  Lancashire,  though  much  indented  by  arms  of  the  sea,  is 
singularly  deficient  in  good  harbours,  and  even  the  approaches  to  the  Mersey  are 
much  obstructed  by  sand-banks.  Morecambe  Bay,  which  forms  so  inviting 
a  feature  on  a  map,  is  also  choked  with  sand-banks,  and  when  the  tide  is  out  it  is 
possible  to  cross  almost  dry  shod. 

Lancashire  is  most  essentially  a  manufacturing  and  mining  county,  its  agri- 
culture being  quite  of  secondary  importance.  An  extensive  system  of  canals 
places  its  principal  centres  of  population  in  communication  with  each  other, 
and  railways  intersect  it  in  every  direction. 

There  is  not,  probably,  a  river  in  the  world  which  sets  in  motion  the  wheels 
of  so  many  mills,  and  carries  on  its  back  so  many  vessels,  as  does  the  Mersey ; 
and  yet  this  river  drains  only  a  small  basin,  and  its  volume  does  not  exceed 
1,400  cubic  feet  a  second.     But  within  this  basin  lies  Manchester,  the  great  seat  of 


Fig.  132. — Manchester  and  Environs. 
Scale  1  :  375,000. 


W.of  G.  e-30 


5  Miles. 


the  cotton  trade,  and  its  mouth  is  guarded  by  Liverpool,  the  commercial  port  of  the 
most  important  manufacturing  region  in  the  world. 

Manchester  and  Salford  are  built  upon  the  black  and  dye-stained  waters  of  the 
Irwell,  Irk,  and  Medlock,  into  which  numerous  factories  discharge  their  refuse, 
but  which  the  corporations  of  these  two  towns  have  at  last  determined  to  cleanse 
and  convert  into  limpid  streams.  The  volume  of  water  brought  down  from  the 
moorlands  by  these  rivulets  is  not  very  great,  but  it  suffices  to  fill  a  dock  crowded 
with  barges.  It  has  been  proposed  by  engineers  to  make  Manchester  a  maritime 
port  by  converting  the  Mersey  and  its  tributary  Irwell  into  a  ship  canal,  up 
which  the  tide  would  ascend  as  far  as  the  present  dock.  The  construction  of 
such  a  canal,  which  would  have  a  length  of  33  miles,  a  width  of  220  and  a  depth 
of  20  feet,  it  is  assumed,  would  require  an  expenditure  of  close  upon  four  millions. 
If  this  scheme  should  ever  be  realised,  Manchester  will  have  no  longercause  to 
envy   Glasgow,    its  Scotch  rival.     For  the  present  the  metropolis  of  the  cotton 


268  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

trade  is  almost  entirely  dependent  upon  the  railway  which  connects  it  with 
Liverpool.  This  is  one  of  the  oldest  lines  in  existence,  and  its  opening  in  1830 
marked  the  starting-point  of  a  new  industrial  and  commercial  era,  which  has 
influenced  the  whole  world.  Near  its  centre  this  railway  crosses  the  quaking 
Chat  Moss,  which  even  engineers  of  our  own  days  would  look  upon  as  a  formidable 
obstacle. 

The  city  of  Manchester  is  not,  like  Bradford,  Middlesborough,  and  other  vast 
manufacturing  centres  of  England,  of  yesterday's  growth.  It  is  the  modern  repre- 
sentative of  the  Roman  Mancunmm,  and  as  early  as  the  fourteenth  century  it  had 
become  known  for  its  manufacture  of  cloth,  introduced  by  Flemish  workmen.  At 
a  subsequent  period  other  branches  of  industry  were  established  by  Protestant 
refugees,  whom  religious  wars  had  driven  from  the  continent,  and  about  the  begin- 
ning of  the  eighteenth  century  cotton  was  first  largely  manufactured,  in  addition 
to  wool.  In  our  own  days  Manchester  is  .known  throughout  the  world  as  the 
metropolis  of  the  cotton  trade,  and  its  great  merchants  have  become  "cotton 
lords."  Cotton  factories,  however,  are  not  so  much  to  be  found  in  Manchester 
itself — which  is  rather  the  market  and  business  centre  of  the  trade — as  in  its 
suburbs,  and  in  the  numerous  towns  which  stud  the  country  between  Preston  and 
Clitheroe  in  the  north,  and  Stockton  in  the  south.  There  are  towns  in  this  district 
which,  relatively  to  their  size,  employ  more  hands  in  their  cotton-mills  than 
Manchester ;  but  that  city,  if  we  include  Salford  and  the  more  remote  suburbs, 
nevertheless  ranks  first  amongst  all  as  a  manufacturing  centre  no  less  than  as 
a  place  of  business.  Thousands  of  workmen  find  employment  in  its  cotton-mills, 
calendering  and  finishing  works,  bleaching,  dyeing,  and  print  works.  There 
are,  besides,  worsted,  flax,  and  silk  mills,  though  these  are  very  subordinate  to 
the  leading  industry.  Far  more  important  are  the  machine  shops,  which  supply 
most  of  the  cotton-mills  with  machinery.  Of  importance,  likewise,  are  the  manu- 
facture of  miscellaneous  metal  articles,  glass-making,  coach-building,  and  brass 
finishing.  Millions  of  pounds  of  capital  have  been  invested  in  these  various 
branches  of  manufacture,  and  we  need  not,  therefore,  wonder  if  zealous  advocates 
of  a  policy  which  considers  above  all  things  financial  and  industrial  interests  should 
have  come  forward  at  Manchester.  It  was  in  the  old  Free-Trade  Hall,  now 
replaced  by  a  building  of  ampler  dimensions,  that  free  trade  was  hatched  under 
the  auspices  of  the  Anti- Corn-Law  League.  Politicians  of  the  so-called  Man- 
chester school,  a  very  influential  party  in  England,  are  generally  credited  with  a 
desire  of  remaining  neutral  under  any  circumstances,  and  desiring  peace  at  any 
price,  as  long  as  the  markets  of  the  world  are  not  closed  against  Lancashire 
produce.  Of  recent  years,  however,  the  factory  owners  of  Lancashire  have  not 
lain  upon  a  bed  of  roses.  The  United  States  have  shut  out  their  goods  by  high 
protective  duties,  and  India  has  established  cotton-mills  of  her  own  to  supply  the 
wants  of  her  population.  Manchester,  consequently,  has  not  recently  grown  quite 
so  fast  as  several  other  towns. 

Sumptuous  public  edifices  bear  witness  to  the  wealth  of  the  great  Lancashire 
city.     The  new  Town  Hall  is  one  of  the  most  magnificent  buildings  of  the  class 


LANCASHIRE.  269 

in  England ;  the  Exchange  is  a  vast  and  splendid  pile,  in  the  classic  style  ;  the 
Assize  Courts  is  a  beautiful  Gothic  pile,  by  Waterhouse-— the  same  architect  to 
whom  we  are  indebted  for  the  Town  Hall.  The  cathedral,  or  «*  old  church,"  is 
venerable  for  its  age,  but  not  remarkable  for  size.  Amongst  charitable  institutions 
the  most  important  is  the  Infirmary,  in  front  of  which  have  been  placed  statues 
of  Wellington,  Watt,  Dalton  (the  discoverer  of  the  atomic  theory),  and  Sir  Robert 
Peel.  Public  parks  and  gardens  supply  the  citizens  with  a  fair  amount  of  fresh  air. 
Besides  three  parks,  one  of  them  having  a  museum  in  its  centre,  there  are  the 
Zoological  Gardens  at  Bellevue,  the  Botanic  Gardens  at  Trafford,  the  Alexandra 
Park,  with  an  Aquarium,  and  the  Pomona  Gardens,  the  two  latter  favourite  places 
of  resort. 

In  addition  to  pure  air,  Manchester  is  anxious  to  secure  an  ample  supply  of 
pure  water.  The  present  supply  amounts  to  240,000,000  gallons  daily,  being  at 
the  rate  of  30  gallons  per  head  of  the  population ;  but  as  a  considerable  propor- 
tion of  this  quantity  is  absorbed  by  the  factories,  the  remainder  does  not  ade- 
quately meet  the  requirements  of  the  inhabitants.  The  corporation  has  conse- 
quently purchased  a  charming  lake  in  Cumberland,  the  Thirlemere,  with  a  view 
of  raising  its  level  50  feet  by  means  of  a  dam,  and  carrying  its  limpid  contents 
along  an  aqueduct  90  miles  in  length,  as  far  as  Manchester.  No  doubt  the 
corporation  might  have  obtained  all  the  water  they  require  had  they  converted 
the  neighbouring  heaths  into  a  huge  basin  for  catching  the  rain,  and  constructed 
gigantic  reservoirs ;  but  these  heaths  are  already  dotted  over  with  houses  and 
factories,  and  all  the  wealth  of  Manchester  would  hardly  suffice  to  purchase  them. 

Manchester  is  not  merely  a  place  of  business  and  industry,  for  it  can  boast 
its  libraries,  learned  societies,  and  educational  institutions.  Cheetham  Library, 
founded  in  1457,  is  the  oldest  amongst  the  former,  but  the  modern  Free  Library 
is  far  richer,  if  wealth  can  be  counted  by  the  number  of  volumes.  Foremost 
amongst  educational  institutions  is  the  famous  college  founded  by  John  Owen 
in  1846.  It  has  recently  received  a  long-coveted  charter,  which  confers  upon  it 
the  privileges  of  a  university,  named  in  honour  of  the  Queen. 

The  towns  and  villages  around  Manchester  are  all  of  them  more  or  less 
dependent  upon  that  city,  and  carry  on  the  same  industries.  Swinton,  Pendlebury, 
and  Presticich  are  towns  on  both  banks  of  the  Irwell  above  Manchester.  Below 
that  city  the  river  named  flows  past  Trafford  Park  and  the  suburbs  of  Eccles  and 
Barton,  the  one  famous  for  its  wakes  and  cakes,  the  other  noteworthy  for  the 
aqueduct  which  carries  the  Bridge  water  Canal  across  the  Irwell.  Close  by,  at 
Worsley,  is  a  seat  of  the  Earl  of  Ellesmere.  Strefford  and  Bidahury  are  the  prin- 
cipal places  on  the  Mersey  to  the  south  of  Manchester.  Stretford  has  large 
slaughter-houses  for  pigs,  whilst  Didsbury  is  the  seat  of  a  Wesleyan  Methodist 
College.  The  eastern  and  south-eastern  suburbs  of  Manchester  include  Gorton, 
with  chemical  works,  in  addition  to  the  all-pervading  cotton-mills,  Neivton  Heath, 
Bradford,  OpeAishaw,  Rusholme,  and  LevcuHholme. 

Farther  away  in  the  same  direction,  we  reach  a  constellation  of  manu- 
facturing towns,  the  principal  amongst  which  is  Ashton-iinder-Lyme,   and  which 


270  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

includes  amongst  its  members  the  Cheshire  towns  of  Stalybridge,  Dukinfield,  and 
Hyde  (see  p.  265).  In  the  whole  of  this  district  cotton-spinning  is  the  leading 
industry,  but  a  good  deal  of  machinery  is  also  made.  Mossley,  Hurst,  Droylsden, 
and  Denton  are  the  principal  villages  dependent  upon  Ashton. 

Oldham,  to  the  north-east  of  Manchester,  is  almost  wholly  devoted  to  cotton 
spinning  and  weaving,  and  machine-making.  The  machine  works  of  Messrs. 
Piatt  are  the  largest  in  the  United  Kingdom.  Middleton,  on  the  Irk,  to  the 
north  of  Manchester,  manufactures  tapes  and  small  wares,  in  addition  to  brocaded 
silks,  which  are  frequently  sold  as  the  produce  of  the  looms  of  Bethnal  Green. 

Bolton-h-Moors  is  another  centre  of  a  congeries  of  factory  towns,  and 
scarcely  yields  to  Oldham  in  population.  It  is  a  busy  hive  of  industry,  which 
has  grown  up  in  the  midst  of  sterile  moors  near  the  river  Roach,  and  owes  much 
of  its  prosperity  to  Flemish,  Palatine,  and  Huguenot  emigrants.  During  the 
Civil  War  it  was  besieged  by  the  Earl  of  Derby.  The  town  is  famous  for  its  fine 
yarns,  shirtings,  and  cambrics,  and  also  turns  out  engines,  machinery,  patent 
safes  and  locks,  and  other  minor  articles.  Amongst  its  buildings  are  a  town-hall, 
a  large  market  hall,  and  a  free  library  with  museum.  A  monument  has  been 
erected  to  Crompton,  the  inventor  of  the  mule.  Collieries  are  worked  in  the 
neighbourhood.  Farnivorth,  Kearsleij,  and  HalUwell  are  minor  manafacturing 
places  near  Bolton.  Farther  away  towards  the  south-west  are  the  cotton  towns 
of  Leigh — where  also  silk  is  woven  on  hand-looms — Atherton,  Tyldesley,  Astley,  and 
Bedford.  The  country  around  these  towns  is  rich  in  coal  and  building  stone,  and 
the  dairies  supply  excellent  cheese. 

Burp,  on  a  hill  overlooking  the  Irwell,  is  another  centre  of  the  cotton  trade, 
besides  which  the  paper  for  the  Times  newspaper  is  made  here.  Sir  Robert  Peel  was 
a  native  of  the  town,  and  a  monument  has  been  erected  in  his  memory.  Siimmerseat 
is  higher  up  on  the  river,  with  the  factory  of  Messrs.  Grant,  who  were  the  original 
Brothers  Cheery ble  in  "Nicholas  Nickleby."  Radclife  and  Whitefield  are  in  the 
same  neighbourhood.  Ascending  the  Irwell,  we  pass  Ramshottom  and  HasUngden, 
and  reach  Bacup,  known  for  its  co-operative  cotton  factories,  in  the  heart  of  the 
Rossendale  Forest,  and  near  the  head  of  the  Irwell. 

Rochdale,  on  the  Roch,  an  affluent  of  the  Irwell,  is  chiefly  occupied  in  the  woollen, 
and  more  especially  the  flannel  trade.  It  was  here  that  twenty-eight  "  Equitable 
Pioneers  "  founded  in  1842  a  co-operative  society  which  has  served  as  a  model  to 
similar  associations  throughout  the  world.  Hey  wood,  lower  down  on  the  Roch,  is 
engaged  in  cotton-spinning ;  whilst  Littleborough,  near  the  head  of  the  river,  and 
at  the  foot  of  Blackstone  Edge,  is  noted  for  its  pretty  scenery. 

Having  now  dealt  with  the  Lancashire  towns  which  occupy  the  upper  basin  of 
the  Mersey,  we  return  to  the  south,  in  order  to  descend  that  river  as  far  as 
Liverpool.  On  our  way  we  pass  the  important  manufacturing  tovm  of  Warrington, 
where  the  Mersey  is  spanned  by  a  bridge  built  in  the  time  of  Henry  YIL  From 
this  bridge  the  river  is  navigable  for  vessels  of  150  tons  burden.  Warrington 
has  iron  and  steel  works,  engineering  factories,  glass  houses,  and  wire  works. 
Pins   are    enumerated   amongst   the   articles   made   here.      A   few  miles  lower 


LANCASHIRE. 


271 


down,  between  Runcorn,  on  the  Cheshire  side,  and  Widnes,  the  estuary  of  the 
Mersey  has  a  width  of  7,500  feet,  but  is  nevertheless  crossed  by  a  magni- 
ficent railway  viaduct.  Widnes  is  a  town  of  evil  odour,  with  chemical  works, 
soap  factories,  bone-manure  works,  and  copper- smelting  houses.  Continuino-  our 
journey,  we  soon  obtain  a  sight  of  the  small  town  of  Garston,  after  which  house 
succeeds  house  in  a  continuous  city,  which  is  half  hidden  by  the  rigging  of  the 
innumerable  ships  and  steamers  lying  at  anchor  in  the  roadstead  or  crowding  the 
docks.     This  is  Liverpool. 

This  powerful   city  has  only  risen  into  importance  in  recent  times.     It  is  not 
even    mentioned   in    the   list    of   towns   and    villages   in    the    Domesday    Book. 


Fig.  133.— Liverpool.  , 
Scale  1 :  800.000. 


6  Miles. 


The  first  reference  to  it  occurs  in  the  year  1172,  when  Henry  II.  was  preparing 
to  invade  Ireland,  and  embarked  his  troops  in  the  estuary  of  the  Mersey.  In  1338, 
when  Edward  III.  made  a  general  levy  upon  the  vessels  and  sailors  of  his 
kingdom,  Liverpool  was  as  yet  of  such  small  importance  that  out  of  a  total  of 
700  vessels  and  14,141  men  it  was  called  upon  to  furnish  a  solitary  barge  manned 
by  six  mariners.  Even  as  recently  as  1571  the  citizens  of  Liverpool,  when 
appealing  to  Queen  Elizabeth  to  reduce  their  taxes,  referred  to  their  town  as  a 
"poor  decayed  place."*  About  1700  Liverpool  had  hardly  5,000  inhabitants; 
but  the  gradual  silting  up  of  the  Dee,  and  consequent  destruction  of  the  port  of 
Chester,  proved  of  advantage  to  Liverpool,  whose  merchants,  about  this  period, 
*  Weale,  "  Public  Works  of  England." 


272 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


began  to  grow  ricli,  mainly  from  the  profits  derived  from  the  slave  trade.  When 
Fuseli,  the  artist,  was  called  upon  to  admire  the  wide  streets  and  noble  buildings 
of  a  quarter  of  the  town  then  recently  constructed,  he  said,  with  reference  to  this 
fact,  that  he  felt  as  if  the  blood  of  negroes  must  ooze  out  of  the  stones. 

Liverpool  is  largely  indebted  for  its  prosperity  to  its  central  position  with 
reference  to  the  sister  islands  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland,  for  upon  it  con- 
verge all  the  great  highways  over  which  the  home  trade  of  the  British  Islands 
is  carried  on.  This  central  position  has  been  equally  advantageous  to  its 
foreign  trade.  Though  farther  away  than  Bristol  from  the  ocean,  which  is 
the  high-road  connecting  England  with  America,  Africa,  and  the  Indies,  this 
disadvantage  is  more  than  compensated  for  by  Liverpool's  proximity  to  the  vast 
coal  basin  which  has  become  the  great  seat  of  English  manufacturing  industry. 


Fig.  134. — The  Landing-stage. 


The  docks  are  the  great  marvel  of  Liverpool.  No  other  town  can  boast  of 
possessing  so  considerable  an  extent  of  sea- water  enclosed  between  solid  masonry 
walls,  and  kept  under  control  by  locks.  There  are  maritime  cities  with  roadsteads 
capable  of  accommodating  entire  fleets,  but  few  amongst  them  have  docks 
sufficiently  spacious  to  admit  thousands  of  vessels  at  one  and  the  same  time,  like 
London  and  Liverpool.  The  latter  is  even  superior  in  this  respect  to  the  great 
commercial  emporium  on  the  Thames,  and  certainly  preceded  it  in  the  construction 
of  docks.  In  1709  the  Corporation  of  Liverpool  first  caused  a  pool  to  be  deepened 
in  order  that  it  might  afford  shelter  to  vessels.  This,  the  precursor  of  the  existing 
basins,  has  been  filled  up  since,  and  the  sumptuous  revenue  and  customs  buildings 
have  been  raised  upon  its  site.  But  for  the  one  dock  thus  abolished,  twenty-seven 
others,  far  more  vast  and  convenient,  have  been  constructed  since.     These  docks 


LANCASHIRE. 


273 


extend  for  5  miles  along  the  river-side,  and  have  an  area  of  1,000  acres,  of  which 
the  basins,  wet  and  dry  docks,  occupy  277  acres.  Vast  though  these  docks  are, 
they  no  longer  suffice  for  the  trade  of  the  Mersey,  and  others  have  been  excavated 
at  Birkenhead,  on  the  Cheshire  bank  of  the  Mersey,  and  at  Garston,  abo.ve  Liverpool. 
Whilst  eight  of  these  docks  are  thrown  open  to  the  general  trade,  there  are  others 
specially  dedicated  to  America,  the  East  Indies,  Russia,  or  Australia,  or  respectively 
to  the  timber  trade,  the  tobacco  trade,  or  emigration  business ;  and  whilst  certain 
quays  are  covered  with  bales  of  cotton,  others  are  given  up  to  sacks  of  corn,  barrels 
of  palm  oil,  or  ground  nuts.  A  stranger  who  spends  a  day  in  these  docks,  and  in 
the  warehouses  which  surround  them,  visits,  in  fact,  a  huge  commercial  museum, 
in  which  various  articles  are  represented  in  bulk,  and  not  by  small  samples. 

Liverpool  cannot  yet  claim  precedence  of  London  as  the  greatest  commercial 
town  of  the  world,  though  its  export  of  British  produce  is  more  considerable,  and  its 

Fior.  135. — St.  George's  Hall. 


commercial  fleet  more  numerous  and  powerful.*  More  than  one-third  of  the  tonnage 
of  the  whole  of  the  United  Kingdom  belongs  to  the  port  of  Liverpool,  whose 
commercial  marine  is  superior  to  that  of  either  France  or  Germany.  In  order  to 
facilitate  the  embarkation  and  disembarkation  of  travellers,  a  landing-stage, 
floating  on  pontoons,  and  connected  with  the  land  by  six  iron  bridges,  has  been 
placed  in  the  Mersey.  This  remarkable  structure  is  nearly  half  a  mile  in  length, 
and  rises  and  sinks  with  the  tide. 

In  1720  scarcely  one-fortieth  of  the  foreign  trade  of  England  was  carried  on 
through  the  port  of  Liverpool.  A  century  later  about  one-sixth  of  this  trade  had 
passed  into  the  hands  of  the  merchants  established  at  the  mouth  of  the  Mersey,  and 
at  present  they  export  about  one-half  of  all  the  British  produce  that  finds  its  way 
into  foreign  countries.    The  increase  of  population  has  kept  pace  with  the  expanding 

*  See  Appendix. 


274 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


commerce  of  the  town,  and  the  inhabitants  are  at  present  a  hundred  times  more 
numerous  than  they  were  at  the  commencement  of  the  eighteenth  century. 
Including  its  suburbs,  Liverpool  is  the  second  town  of  the  United  Kingdom.  It 
altoo-ether  monopolizes  certain  branches  of  commerce.  Nearly  all  the  cotton  of 
the  world  finds  its  way  to  Liverpool,  and  is  thence  distributed  amongst  the  towns 
of  continental  Europe.  Most  of  the  emigrants  who  leave  Europe  embark  at 
Liverpool.      The   principal  articles    of  export   are  coal,  salt,  cutlery,  fire-arms. 


Fig.  136.— The  Liverpool  Water  Works. 
According  to  H.  Beloe.    Scale  1  :  350,000. 


5  Miles. 


machinery,  china  and  earthenware,  and  textile  fabrics  of  every  description.  The 
local  manufactures  contribute  in  a  certain  measure  in  feeding  this  export  trade. 
There  are  iron  foundries  and  brass  works,  machine  shops,  chemical  works,  breweries, 
and,  above  all,  the  ship-building  yards  on  both  banks  of  the  Mersey. 

Like  most  other  large  towns,  Liverpool  can  show  a  few  noble  edifices.  It  has 
its  public  parks,  a  zoological  and  a  botanical  garden.  Interesting,  too,  is  one  of 
the  cemeteries,  with  catacombs  cut  out  of  the  rock.  Most  prominent  amongst  its 
public  buildings  is  St.  George's  Hall,  in  the  style  of  a  Greek  temple.     Near  it 


LANCASHIRE.  275 

have  been  raised  a  monument  to  the  Duke  of  Wellington,  and  statues  of  the 
Queen  and  Prince  Albert.  The  Free  Library  and  Museum,  founded  by  Sir 
W.  Brown,  are  in  the  same  quarter  of  the  town,  and  contain  valuable  collections  of 
books,  stuffed  animals,  antiquities,  china,  and  paintings.  The  new  Exchange 
Buildings  are  in  the  classic  style,  and  surround  a  courtyard  ornamented  with  a 
monument  to  Nelson.  Foremost  amongst  educational  institutions  are  the  College, 
the  Liverpool  and  the  Royal  Institutions,  the  latter  with  a  gallery  of  paintings. 
The  oldest  church  is  that  of  St.  Nicholas,  with  a  remarkable  lantern  spire. 

Liverpool,  unfortunately,  has  not  yet  been  provided  with  an  ample  supply  of 
pure  drinking  water.  The  reservoirs  constructed  at  an  expenditure  of  nearly 
two  million  sterling  at  the  foot  of  Rivington  Pike,  20  miles  north  from  the 
town,  cover  an  area  of  600  acres,  and  collect  the  drainage  of  10,000  acres,  but 
they  are  not  suflScient.  Supplemented  by  several  springs,  they  only  yield  28 
gallons  per  head  daily  for  a  population  of  650,000  souls,  and  a  considerable  portion 
of  this  is  consumed  by  factories.*  The  corporation  has  consequently  sought 
for  some  other  source  of  supply,  and  after  careful  consideration  the  upper  valley 
of  Yyrnwy,  or  Yerniew,  which  is  tributary  to  the  Severn,  has  been  fixed  upon, 
and  will  be  converted  into  a  huge  reservoir  of  water  for  its  use. 

Liverpool,  in  addition  to  constructing  several  new  docks,  is  at  present 
carrying  out  another  great  work,  namely,  a  railway  tunnel,  which  will  pass 
beneath  the  Mersey,  and  into  its  Cheshire  suburb  of  Birkenhead.  Much  remains, 
however,  to  be  done  before  Liverpool  can  be  called  a  healthy  town.  Of  every 
1,000  children  born  only  540,  or  hardly  more  than  half,  attain  the  age  of  five 
years ;  and  about  20,000  of  the  inhabitants  live  in  cellars.  Poverty,  and  the 
floating  population  of  sailors  of  every  nation,  swell  the  criminal  records.  About 
50,000  persons  are  annually  taken  into  custody  by  the  police,  or  one  out  of  every 
10  inhabitants — a  proportion  not  met  with  in  any  other  town  of  Europe. 

Numerous  smaller  towns  encircle  Liverpool  on  the  land  side,  and  form  its  suburbs 
and  favourite  places  of  residence.  Amongst  these  suburban  towns  and  villages 
are  Toocteth,  Wavertree,  West  Derby,  Walton-on'the-Hill,  and  Bootle-cum-Linacre. 
Following  the  low  shore  in  a  northerly  direction,  we  pass  the  cheerful  seaside 
villages  of  Seaforth,  Waterloo,  and  Great  Crosby,  double  Formby  Head,  and 
reach  Southport,  a  great  favourite  with  the  people  of  Lancashire,  who  speak  of  it 
as  of  an  English  Montpelier.  A  pier  stretches  over  a  mile  into  the  sea  ;  there 
are  a  winter  garden  and  an  aquarium ;  and  over  700  species  of  native  plants 
grow  on  the  sand-hills  which  shut  in  the  town,  which  has  Birkdale  for  its  suburb. 

Prescot,  the  birthplace  of  Kemble  the  tragedian,  lies  a  few  miles  to  the  east 
of  Liverpool.  Watches  are  made  here  by  machinery,  and  there  are  collieries  in 
the  neighbourhood.  Knowsley,  the  family  residence  of  the  Earls  of  Derby 
since  1385,  lies  near  it.  St.  Helenas,  to  the  north-east  of  Prescot,  has  plate- 
glass,  chemical,  and  copper  works.  Farther  east  still  are  Ashton- in- Maker  field 
and  Newton-in-MakerJield.  The  former  is  engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  locks, 
the  latter  has  cotton-mills,  iron  foundries,  and  glass  houses. 
*  H.  Beloe,  *'  The  Liverpool  Water  Works.' 


276  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

The  basin  of  tlie  Eibble  is  less  extensive  tban  that  of  the  Mersey,  but  it 
nevertheless  contains  a  considerable  population,  and  abounds  in  large  manu- 
facturing towns.  Entering  tbis  basin  from  tbe  soutb-west,  we  first  reacb  TFigan, 
on  the  Douglas,  the  centre  of  the  Lancashire  iron  and  coal  district,  with  huge 
iron  works,  cotton-mills,  and  collieries.  One  of  tbe  coal-pits  in  tbe  neighbour- 
hood of  this  town  bas  tbe  greatest  depth  of  any  in  England,  and  tbe  temperature 
at  its  bottom  is  never  less  tban  93°  Fahr.  Ince-in-Makerfield  and  Hindley  are 
smaller  towns  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Wigan,  which  engage  in  the  same  industries. 
Ormskirk,  a  market  town  of  some  importance,  famous  for  its  gingerbread,  lies  10 
miles  to  the  west. 

Blaokhurn,  tbe  principal  town  in  the  valley  of  tbe  Darwen,  is  almost  blacker 
and  noisier  than  otber  towns  of  this  region  ;  but  at  all  events  it  enjoys  with  tbe 
towns  in  its  neigbbourbood  the  advantage  of  being  surrounded  by  breezy  bills. 
Cotton-spinning  is  tbe  leading  industry  bere  as  well  as  at  Over  and  Lower  Darwen 
and  at  Oswaldtivistle,  but  a  good  deal  of  machinery  is  also  made,  and  much  coal 
won.  Heald  knitting  is  still  carried  on  as  a  bome  industry.  Blackburn  was  the 
birtbplace  of  the  first  Sir  Robert  Peel,  and  of  Hargreaves.  tbe  inventor  of  the 
spinning- jenny.  Its  public  buildings  are  on  a  noble  scale,  and  contain  a  museum 
and  free  library. 

Accrington,  tbougb  a  neighbour  of  Blackburn,  lies  within  tbe  basin  of  the 
Calder,  whicb,  like  tbe  Darwen,  pays  tribute  to  tbe  Kibble.  It  is  a  place  of 
modern  growth,  witb  cotton-mills  and  chemical  works,  and  has  its  satellites  in 
Church)  Clayton-le-MoorS)  and  Oreat  Harwood.  Burnley,  near  tbe  junction  of  the 
Calder  and  the  Burn,  in  a  broken  and  picturesque  district,  bas  a  little  woollen 
trade  in  addition  to  tbat  of  cotton.  Many  gentlemen's  seats  are  in  its  vicinity, 
including  tbat  of  tbe  Towneley  family,  wbere  casts  of  the  Towneley  marbles  are 
kept.  Ascending  the  Calder,  we  pass  througb  Brierfield  and  Nelson,  and  reach  the 
ancient  little  town  of  Colne,  tbe  Roman  Colunio,  close  to  the  Yorkshire  boundary. 
Padiham,  an  uninviting  cotton  town,  is  below  Burnley,  and  is  succeeded  by  the 
pretty  village  of  Whalley,  witb  the  ruins  of  its  famous  abbey.  The  Jesuit  College  of 
Stony  hurst  is  in  this  neigbbourbood,  near  tbe  northern  bank  of  the  Ribble. 
Clitheroe,  a  few  miles  farther  up  the  Ribble,  is  picturesque  despite  its  few  cotton- 
mills.  It  lies  near  tbe  foot  of  the  Pendle  Hill  (1,816  feet),  a  huge  mass  of 
carboniferous  limestone,  formerly  supposed  to  be  tbe  resort  of  the  Lancashire 
Witches.     Ruhus  chamcemorus,  a  semi-arctic  plant,  grows  on  tbe  summit. 

Descending  the  Ribble,  we  pass  tbe  ancient  village  of  Rihchester  (it  represents 
the  Cocium  or  Rigodunum  of  tbe  Romans),  and  reach  Preston,  majestically  seated 
upon  the  steep  banks  of  the  river,  and  at  the  head  of  its  estuary.  Preston  is  one 
of  the  leading  manufacturing  towns  of  Lancashire,  as  befits  the  birthplace  of 
R.  Arkwright,  and  carries  on  a  considerable  trade  by  sea.  Tbe  wealth  of  the 
town,  joined  to  tbe  beauty  of  its  position,  has  won  for  it  the  epithet  of  "  Proud." 
Tbe  modern  town-ball  is  a  sumptuous  building.  The  strike  whicb  took  place  here 
in  1853-54  was  one  of  tbe  most  remarkable  in  history,  for  it  lasted  seven  months. 
Chorley,  to  the  south  of  Preston,  has  cotton-mills  and  waggon  works,  and  is  a  place 


LANCASHIRE. 


277 


of  some  note,  whilst  Leyland,  Fulwood,  and  Kirhham  are  mere  villao-es  with 
cotton-mills.  Lytham,  on  the  northern  bank  of  the  Ribble,  attracts  a  few  visitors 
as  a  sea-bathing  place,  but  the  favourite  watering-place  of  Lancashire  is  Blackpool, 
a  little  farther  north,  where  the  usually  flat  shore  rises  into  earthy  cliffs,  from 
whose  summit  may  be  enjoyed  a  view  of  the  Irish  Sea. 

The  road  from  Preston  to  Lancaster  crosses  the  Wyre  at  Garstang,  near  which 
is  Greenhaigh  Castle. 

Lancaster,  the  political  capital  of  Lancashire,  takes  its  name  from  the  river 

Lune,  or  Lun,  which  washes  its  walls.     It  occupies  the  site  of  a  Roman  station 

probably  Longovicium — and  is  commanded  by  a  modernised  castle,  whence  may  be 
enjoyed  the  magnificent  panorama  presented  by  the  Welsh  hills,  the  Isle  of  Man, 
and  the  Cumbrian  Mountains.  The  town  manufactures  American  cloth,  leather,  cocoa 

Fig.  137.— Preston. 
Scale  1  :  450,000. 


Depth  under  5  Fathoms 


Depth  over  5  I'dthoniii. 
1  Mile 


matting,  furniture,  silks,  cottons,  and  waggons.  A  short  railway  connects  Lancaster 
with  its  outlying  suburbs  of  Poulton-le- Sands  and  Morecamhe,  on  Morecambe  Bay. 
Vessels  of  300  tons  burden  are  able  to  ascend  the  Lune  with  the  tide  as  far  as  the 
quays  of  Lancaster,  the  maritime  port  of  which  is  Fleetivood,  a  forsaken-looking 
place  at  the  mouth  of  the  Wyre,  connected  by  a  line  of  steam-packets  with 
Belfast.     Near  it  is  the  famous  school  installed  in  old  Rossall  House. 

The  detached  portion  of  Lancashire  "  north  of  the  Sands  "  (that  is,  those  of 
Morecambe  Bay,  which  are  exposed,  and  can  be  crossed  when  the  sea  retires 
from  the  bay)  is  also  known  as  Furness,  from  a  famous  old  abbey,  beautiful  even 
in  its  present  state  of  ruin,  and  seated  in  a  country  more  beautiful  still.  Ulverston 
is  the  nominal  capital  of  this  district.  A  ship  canal,  lined  by  furnaces  and  paper- 
mills,  connects  it  with  Morecambe  Bay.  John  Barrow,  the  arctic  explorer,  was 
born  at  Ulverston,  and  a  monument  has  been  raised  to  commemorate  him.     The 


278  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

great  town  of  this  district,  however,  and  one  of  those  which  has  grown  with 
astonishing  rapidity,  is  Barroiv-in-Fumess,  near  the  southern  extremity  of  the 
Cumbrian  peninsula,  and  at  the  east  of  Walney  Island,  which  acts  as  a  break- 
water to  its  roadstead.  In  1846  Barrow  was  a  poor  fishing  village,  but  the 
discovery  of  pure  hematite  ores  led  to  the  construction  of  iron  and  steel  works. 
Ship-building  yards  followed,  jute-mills  were  established,  and  the  small  village 
rapidly  grew  into  a  prosperous  town,  with  docks  which  admit  the  largest  vessels 
at  any  state  of  the  tide.  Dalton,  a  few  miles  to  the  north  of  Barrow,  lies  in  the 
heart  of  the  hematite  iron  district.  Broiighton  is  a  quiet  town  at  the  head  of  the 
estuary  of  the  Duddon,  famous  for  trout  and  salmon.  Farther  inland,  in  the  Lake 
district,  are  Coniston,  delightfully  situate  at  the  head  of  Coniston  Water  and  at  the 
foot  of  the  Old  Man,  with  copper  mines  and  slate  quarries  near  it,  and  Hawkshead, 
a  quaint  market  town  at  the  head-  of  Esthwaite  Water.  Archbishop  Sandys  and 
Wordsworth  were  educated  at  its  grammar  school. 

Cartmel,  in  the  eastern  portion  of  Furness,  has  a  famous  priory  church.    Holker 
HaU,  a  mansion  of  the  Duke  of  Devonshire,  lies  in  its  neighbourhood. 


CHAPTER  XI. 

THE  NORTH  OF  ENGLAND,  THE  CUMBRIAN  MOUNTAINS,  THE  BASINS  OF  THE 
EDEN,  THE  TEES,  AND  THE  TYNE. 

(Cumberland,  Westmoreland,  Durham,  and  Northumberland.) 


General  Features. 

HAT  part  of  England  whicli  lies  to  the  north  of  the  estuary  of  the 
Tees  and  Morecarabe  Bay  forms  a  distinct  geographical  region  of 
transition,  which  connects  the  south  of  the  island  with  North 
Britain.  The  mountainous  peninsula  of  Cumbria  is  still  bounded 
by  another  gulf  in  the  north,  namely,  the  Solway  Firth,  which 
penetrates  into  the  land  to  within  60  miles  of  the  German  Ocean.  The 
tidal  currents  which  ascend  the  rivers  falling  on  the  one  hand  into  the  Irish 
Sea,  and  on  the  other  into  the  German  Ocean,  approach  within  50  miles  of  each 
other. 

The  Pennine  chain,  which  begins  to  the  north  of  Derby,  and  bounds  the 
basins  of  the  Trent  and  Ouse  on  the  west,  separates  farther  north  the  basin  of 
the  Eden  from  that  of  the  Tees,  and  finally  coalesces  with  the  Cheviot  Hills 
on  the  Scotch  frontier.  The  highest  summit  of  the  entire  chain,  the  Cross  Fell 
(2,928  feet),  rises  in  this  northern  portion.  But  the  Silurian  and  granitic  moun- 
tains, which  are  attached  to  the  "  backbone  "  of  England  by  a  transversal  ridge 
of  moderate  elevation,  are  more  lofty  still.  When  the  weather  is  favourable  the 
traveller  who  climbs  these,  the  proudest  mountains  of  all  England,  sees  spread 
beneath  him  nearly  the  whole  of  the  Irish  Sea,  together  with  the  hills  that 
bound  it.  Whilst  ascending  them  he  successively  passes  through  difierent 
zones  or  climates.  Starting  from  the  smiling  country,  abounding  in  orchards, 
at  their  foot,  he  traverses  the  pine  woods  which  clothe  their  lower  slopes,  and 
finally  emerges  upon  the  fells,  which  yield  nought  but  ling  and  bracken.  The 
topmost  summits  are  clad  with  verdure  only  during  summer  and  autumn,  for 
in  winter  and  spring  they  are  either  covered  with  snow,  or  their  scant  vegeta- 
tion is  tinged  a  russet  brown  by  the  frost.  As  they  face  the  moisture-laden 
south-westerly  winds,  the  amount  of  precipitation  is  enormous,  averaging  about 
80  inches  a  year,  and  even  reaching  16  feet  in  some  localities,  where  the  clouds  are 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

entrapped  in  hollows  on  the  mountain  sides,  from  which  they  cannot  escape. 
Torrent  rains  and  violent  snow-storms  are  phenomena  of  ordinary  occurrence, 
and  in  the  depth  of  winter  it  is  often  impossible  to  ascend  the  highest  summits. 

Fig.  138.— Hypsographical  Map  of  thb  Cumbrian  Mountains. 
Scale  1 :  634,000. 


3°  W.  of  Gr. 


Foreshore. 


Sea-level  to 
600  Feet. 


600  to  1,200 
Feet. 


Over  1,200 
Feet. 


10  Miles. 


The  boldest  shepherds  have  refused  at  times  to  climb  the  mountain-tops  in  order 
to  consult  the  rain  gauges  which  have  been  placed  upon  them.* 

*  J.  Fletcher  Miller,  Philosophical  Transactions,  1851. 


THE  NOETH  OF  ENGLAND. 


281 


The  torrents  which  run  down  the  impermeable  sides  of  these  craggy  moun- 
tains are  the  feeders  of  lakes  which  occupy  deep  cavities,  reaching  in  several 
instances  below  the  level  of  the  sea.  A  slight  subsidence  of  the  land  would 
convert  these  lakes  into  lochs  or  firths,  such  as  we  see  at  the  present  day  along 
the  coast  of  Scotland,  and  it  is  the  opinion  of  geologists  that  previously  to  the 
last  upheaval  of  the  land  they  actually  were  firths,  and  ramified  in  the  same 
manner  as  Morecambe  Bay  does  to  the  present  day.  But  it  is  not  their  geological 
genesis  which  renders  these  lakes  so  great  an  attraction.  They  are  one  of  the 
glories  of  England  not  only  because  they  are  filled  with  translucent  water, 
reflecting  the  islets  which  stud  and  the  crags  which  enclose  them,  and  are  fringed 
with  rich  meadow  lands  backed  by  woods,  but  also  because  of  their  association 
with  the  poets  who  have  sung  their  beauties.     The  lakes  of  Cumberland  have 


Fig.  139.— The  Cumbrian  Mountains. 
Scale  1  :  700,000. 


Depth  under  5  J 
Fathoms. 


Over  11 
Fathomg. 

10  Miles. 


given  birth  to  a  literary  *'  school,"  that  of  the  Lakists,  which,  like  all  schools, 
includes,  by  the  side  of  true  poets  who  have  given  expression  to  that  which  they 
felt,  a  crowd  of  tedious  imitators,  who  merely  look  to  the  verses  of  their  predecessors 
for  a  revelation  of  nature.  The  names  of  Wordsworth,  Coleridge,  Southey,  De 
Quincey,  and  Martineau  will  for  ever  remain  associated  with  Windermere, 
Grasmere,  Thirlemere,  Derwentwater,  and  UUeswater.  All  these  lakes  are  drained 
by  rivers,  either  into  the  Eden  or  Derwent,  or  direct  into  the  sea,  for  precipita- 
tion is  far  in  excess  of  evaporation.  Manufactories  have  not  yet  sprung  up  on 
their  banks  and  defiled  their  water,  but  the  artists  who  have  settled  down 
in  the  district,  and  the  devout  visitors  who  explore  the  scenery  described  in  the 
verses  of  their  favourite  poets,  may  not  be  able  much  longer  to  defend  them 
against  avaricious  speculators.  Already  factories  have  been  established  in  the 
115 — E 


282  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

towns  which  surround  the  district,   and  they  are  gradually   extending  into  the 
interior  of  the  country. 

The  coal  measures  which  extend  along  the  coast  to  the  south  of  the  Solway  Firth 
are  of  considerable  importance.  At  some  former  epoch  the  carboniferous  forma- 
tion covered  the  whole  of  the  Pennine  range,  and  extended  from  the  shores  of  the 
German  Ocean  to  the  Irish  Sea ;  but,  owing  to  the  displacement  of  strata  and  the 
action  of  denudation,  there  are  now  two  separate  basins,  viz.  that  of  Cumberland^ 
and  that  of  Durham  and  Northumberland.  The  Cumbrian  coal  mines  are  somewhat 
famous  on  account  of  their  submarine  galleries.  At  Whitehaven  the  levels  driven 
by  the  miners  extend  for  a  distance  of  nearly  2  miles  off  the  shore,  and  lie  at  a 
depth  of  650  feet  beneath  the  level  of  the  sea ;  and  the  entire  network  of  submarine 
galleries  and  levels  has  a  length  of  several  hundred  miles.  The  roof  which 
intervenes  between  the  miners  and  the  floor  of  the  ocean  varies  in  thickness 
between  230  and  720  feet,  and  is  amply  sufficient  to  preclude  every  idea  of 
danger.  Still  the  water  of  the  ocean  occasionally  finds  its  way  through  fissures 
into  the  mines,  but  in  most  instances  the  miners  succeed  in  calking  the  leaky 
places.  The  mine  of  Workington,  however,  which  extended  for  5,000  feet  beneath 
the  sea,  had  a  roof  too  feeble  to  resist  the  pressure  of  the  superincumbent  waters. 
On  the  30th  of  June,  1837,  it  suddenly  gave  way,  the  mine  was  inundated,  and  the 
miners  barely  escaped  the  flood  which  pursued  them.  One  of  these  galleries 
actually  extends  for  a  distance  of  9,604  feet  beneath  the  sea.  The  quantity  of 
workable  coal  still  contained  in  these  submarine  seams  is  estimated  to  amount  to 
100,000,000  tons.* 

The  coal-field  of  Durham  and  Northumberland,  which  is  traversed  at  intervals 
by  parallel  dykes  of  basalt,  is  more  actively  worked  than  any  other  in  Europe 
It  yields  double  the  quantity  of  coal  produced  by  all  France,  and  is  the  principal 
source  of  supply  for  the  metropolis.  Four  collieries  in  the  environs  of  Durham 
supply  each  1,500,000  tons  of  fuel  annually,  and  the  nine  principal  seams  now 
being  worked  in  the  basins  of  the  Tees  and  Tyne  still  contain  at  least  eight  or  ten 
milliards  of  tons  of  coal  within  easy  reach — a  quantity  sufficient  to  last  for 
centuries  at  the  present  rate  of  working.  The  ^oal  beds  extend  far  beneath  the 
sea ;  and  statisticians,  in  calculating  the  supply  of  the  future,  have  assumed  that  all 
the  coal  within  4  miles  of  the  coast  can  be  got  at.f  The  collieries,  and  in  the 
valley  of  the  Tees  the  iron  mines,  have  attracted  a  considerable  population.  The 
towns  press  upon  each  other,  the  roadsteads  and  quays  are  crowded  with  shipping, 
and  even  in  England  there  are  not  many  districts  in  which  industry  has  achieved 
such  wonders. 

Yet  for  many  centuries  this  was  one  of  the  poorest  and  least-peopled  districts 
of  Great  Britain — a  district  of  permanent  warfare  and  unexpected  border  raids, 
where  even  in  time  of  peace  the  inhabitants  were  obliged  to  be  on  their  guard. 
The  fact  that  the  great  historical  highway  between  England  and  Scotland  passes 
along  the  eastern   foot  of  the  Pennine  range  and  the  Cheviot  Hills  sufficiently 

*  Smyth  ;  Hull,  "  Coal  Fields  of  Great  Britain." 
t  Ramsay ;  Eliot ;  Forster  ;  Hull. 


THE  NORTH  OF  ENGLAND. 


283 


accounts  for  this  state  of  affairs.  The  country  to  the  west  of  that  great  road  was 
too  rugged  and  too  rich  in  natural  obstacles  to  be  adapted  to  the  movement  of 
armies.  The  war-path  consequently  lay  on  the  eastern  slope,  and  the  region 
through  which  it  passed  was  frequently  laid  waste.  Extensive  tracts  of  territory 
remained  altogether  unoccupied :  they  were  "  marches,"  similar  to  those  which  in 
another  part  of  Europe  separated  Avares  from  Germans,  and  Slavs  from  Russians. 
Extensive  heaths  still  recall  the  time  when  the  twp  kingdoms  were  almost 
perpetually  engaged  in  war,  and  the  old  buildings  which  we  meet  with  in  the 
country  districts  are  constructed  so  as  to  be  able  to  sustain  a  siege.  The  nearer  we 
approach  the  Scotch  border,  the  more  numerous  are  these  towers  of  defence.  Not 
only  the  castles  of  the  great  lords,  but  also  the  simple  homesteads  of  the  farmers, 
churches,  and  monasteries,  were  fortified.  Many  of  the  castles  could  be  entered 
only  by  means  of  ladders,  so  great  was  the  fear  of  their  inhabitants  of  a  surprise. 
Buildings  of  this  kind  existed  during  the  Middle  Ages  in  nearly  every  country 
frequently  ravaged  by  war.      The  most  southern  of  these  towers  of  defence  stood 


Fig,  140.— Hadrian's  Wall. 
According  to  C.  Rnice.    Scale  1  :  900,000. 


5' 

Zmrna.! 

^ 

55: 

5- 

W.ofG 

10  Miles. 


on  the  northern  frontier  of  Yorkshire,  on  the  southern  bank  of  the  Tees,  and  it 
was  only  at  such  a  distance  from  the  Scotch  border  that  the  inhabitants  felt  secure 
from  unexpected  attacks.* 

The  fortunes  of  war  have  caused  the  frontiers  between  the  two  kingdoms  to 
oscillate.  The  actual  boundary  has  of  course  been  drawn  at  the  dictation  of  the 
state  which  disposed  of  the  most  powerful  armies.  Commencing  at  the  Solway 
Firth,  it  climbs  the  crest  of  the  Cheviot  Hills,  but  instead  of  being  drawn  from 
their  eastern  extremity  to  the  nearest  headland  on  the  coast,  it  abruptly  turns  to 
the  north,  and  follows  the  course  of  the  Lower  Tees.  The  most  natural  boundary 
is  that  which  the  Romans  laid  down  when  they  constructed  the  wall  which 
extends  from  the  Solway  Firth  to  the  mouth  of  the  Tyne,  to  serve  as  a  second 
line  of  defence  to  the  provinces  they  held.  This  wall,  built  by  the  Emperor 
Hadrian,  and  accompanied  throughout  by  a  military  road,  was  still  in  a  fair 
state  of  preservation  towards  the  close  of  the  sixteenth  century,  but  in  our  own 


*  Yorkshire,  Edinburgh  Review,  vol.  cxxiii. 


284  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

days  is  limited  to  a  few  blocks  of  masonry,  some  of  them  10  feet  in  height.  In 
its  eastern  portion,  where  the  country,  owing  to  the  incessant  wars  of  the  Middle 
Ages,  no  less  than  because  of  its  natural  sterility,  has  only  recently  been  peopled, 
the  wall  can  still  be  traced  ;  but  not  so  in  the  west,  where  the  ploughshare  has 
almost  obliterated  it,  so  that  it  was  not  even  easy  to  ascertain  the  sites  of  the 
Eoman  stations.*  In  certain  localities,  however,  the  ancient  ditch,  now  over- 
grown with  grass  upon  which  sheep  browse,  may  still  be  seen.  Two  piers  of  a 
bridge  over  the  Northern  Tyne  are  the  principal  ruins  remaining  of  this  ancient 
work.  Excavations  have  furnished  antiquaries  with  medals  and  numerous  inscrip- 
tions, which  have  thrown  much  light  upon  the  history  of  Great  Britain  whilst 
under  the  dominion  of  the  Romans. f  Hadrian's  wall  was  from  6  to  10  feet  thick, 
and  averaged  18  feet  in  height.  A  ditch,  36  feet  wide  and  over  12  feet  in  depth, 
extended  along  its  northern  side,  whilst  a  narrower  ditch,  with  entrenchments, 
accompanied  it  on  the  south.  Fortresses,  stations,  and  posts  succeeded  each  other 
at  short  intervals.  The  wall  terminates  in  the  east  close  to  the  town  of  Wallsend, 
in  the  centre  of  the  coal  basin  of  the  Tyne. 

The  inhabitants  of  Northumberland,  whose  country  has  so  frequently  been  a 
bone  of  contention  between  Scotch  and  English,  resemble  their  northern  neighbours 
in  customs  and  language,  and  in  the  people,  no  less  than  in  the  aspect  of  the 
country,  do  we  perceive  the  transition  between  south  and  north.  In  the  west,  on 
the  other  hand,  the  contrast  is  very  great.  The  Cumbrians  remained  independent 
for  a  considerable  period,  and,  sheltered  by  their  mountains,  were  able  to  maintain 
their  ancient  customs.  Even  after  the  Norman  conquest  they  talked  a  Celtic 
tongue  differing  but  little  from  that  of  the  Welsh.  Some  of  the  noble  families 
of  the  country  boast  of  their  pure  Saxon  descent,  and  look  down  upon  the  less 
ancient  nobility  of  Norman  creation.  Amongst  the  peasants  there  were,  and  are 
still,  a  considerable  number  of  freeholders,  or  "  statesmen,"  who  have  cultivated 
the  land  they  hold  for  generations  past.+  These  men  were  distinguished,  above  all 
others,  by  their  noble  bearing,  the  dignity  of  their  language,  and  the  proud  inde- 
pendence of  their  conduct.  Their  number,  however,  has  greatly  diminished,  for 
the  large  proprietors  are  gradually  absorbing  the  smaller  estates. 

Topography. 

Westmoreland,  the  smallest  of  these  northern  counties,  is  divided  by  the  valley 
of  the  Eden  into  two  mountain  districts,  of  which  the  eastern  embraces  some  of 
the  most  forbidding  moors  of  the  Pennine  chain,  whilst  the  western  includes  the 
high  peaks  and  deep  ravines  of  a  portion  of  the  Cumbrian  group.  Within  this 
latter  rises  Helvellyn  (8,118  feet),  the  second  highest  of  the  English  mountains, 
and  two  large  lakes,  the  UUeswater  and  the  Windermere,  add  to  its  attractions.  A 
range  of  lower  moorlands  binds  together  these  mountain  districts.  To  the  south  of 
this  range,  which  is  crossed  by  the  Pass  of  Shap  Fell,  the  rivers  Kent  and  Lune 

*  Thomas  Wright,  "  The  Celt,  the  Roman,  and  the  Saxon." 

t  Collingwood  Bruce,  "  The  Roman  Wall,  Barrier  of  the  Lower  Isthmus." 

t  Wordsworth  ;  Emerson,  "  English  Traits." 


WESTMOEELAND. 


285 


drain  an  important  district  of  the  county  into  Morecambe  Bay.  The  moist  climate 
is  more  favourable  to  cattle-breeding  than  to  agriculture.  The  mineral  products 
include  lead,  a  little  copper  and  iron,  beautiful  marble,  and  roofing  slate.  The 
manufactures  are  on  a  small  scale. 

Kendal,  the  only  large  town  of  the  county,  stands  on  the  declivity  of  a  hill 
near  the  banks  of  the  river  Kent,  which  flows  into  Morecambe  Bay  at  Milnthorpe, 
the  only  seaport.  It  is  a  prosperous  place,  with  various  scientific  institutions, 
and  the  ruins  of  a  castle  in  which  Catherine  Parr  'was  born.  The  woollen 
industry  introduced  by  Flemish  weavers  in  the  fourteenth  century  still  flourishes, 
and,  in  addition  to  cloth,  there  are  manufactures  of  linseys,  carpets,  fancy 
stuffs,  combs,  fish-hooks,  and  clogs.  But  that  which  has  made  its  reputation 
is  the  beautiful  country  in  which  it  is  situate.  The  river  Kent,  after  which 
the  town  is  named,  rises  in  a  small  lake,  the  Kentmere ;    but  the  lake  in  this 

Fig.  141.— The  Head  of  Windekmere. 


neighbourhood  most  sought  after  is  the  Windermere.  Buwness  and  Ambleside , 
on  its  shore,  are  villages  of  hotels,  affording  ample  accommodation  to  the 
crowds  of  tourists  who  visit  them.  Even  more  romantic  are  the  environs  of 
Grasmere,  at  the  head  of  a  small  lake  which  drains  into  Windermere,  and  in  the 
midst  of  the  most  impressive  mountain  scenery.  Wordsworth  lived  at  the 
neighbouring  hamlet  of  Rydal,  and  he  and  Coleridge  are  buried  in  the  churchyard 
of  St.  Oswald. 

Kirkhy  Lonsdale,  in  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Lune,  is  the  only  other  place  of 
note  in  the  southern  portion  of  the  county.  Carpets  and  blankets  are  manu- 
factured, and  marble  is  quarried  there. 

Ajyplehy,  beautifully  situated  on  the  river  Eden,  is  the  principal  town  in  the 
northern  part  of  the  county,  and  its  capital.  It  is  very  ancient,  dating  back  to 
the  Eoman   age,  but  has  dwindled  down  into  a  small  country  town,  with  an  old 


286  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

castle  crowning  a  wooded  eminence  beside  it.  The  grammar  school  was  founded 
by  Queen  Elizabeth.  The  manufacture  of  woollens  is  carried  on  to  a  limited 
extent.  Other  towns  on  the  Eden  are  Brough-under-Stainmore,  an  old  Roman 
station  in  Watling  Street,  and  Kirhhy  Stephen,  within  easy  access  of  the  moors 
and  hence  much  frequented  by  sporting-men.  Quarries  and  mines  are  near  both 
these  places.  Shap,  a  straggling  village  almost  in  the  centre  of  the  county,  and 
at  the  foot  of  the  Shap  Fells,  has  slate  and  other  quarries.  Clifton  is  a  village  on 
the  northern  border,  near  which  took  place  the  conflict  of  Clifton  Moor  in  1745. 
Lowther  and  Brougham  Castles  are  in  its  vicinity,  the  latter  at  one  time  one  of 
the  most  formidable  of  frontier  fortresses. 

Cumberland  extends  from  the  desolate  moorlands  of  the  Pennine  chain  to  the 
Irish  Sea  in  the  west,  and  includes  within  its  borders  the  highest  mountains  of 
England*  and  most  of  the  English  lakes.  A  broad  and  passably  fertile  plain, 
traversed  by  the  Lower  Eden,  separates  the  moorlands  from  the  Cumbrian  Hills, 
and  in  this  plain  grew  up  the  principal  towns  until  the  discovery  of  coal  shifted 
the  centre  of  population  to  the  westward.  Besides  coal  and  iron,  the  mines 
and  quarries  yield  lead,  plumbago,  silver,  zinc,  slate,  marble,  and  various  other 
building  stones.  The  cotton  factories,  iron  works,  foundries,  and  machine  shops 
are  of  considerable  importance.  Here,  as  in  the  neighbouring  county  of  West- 
moreland, a  large  portion  of  the  land  is  the  property  of  **  statesmen,"  or  "lairds." 

Carlisle,  the  chief  town  of  the  county,  occupies  a  fine  position  on  the  Lower 
Eden,  about  8  miles  above  its  mouth  into  Morecambe  Bay.  After  having  been  a 
Roman  station — Luguvallum — Carlisle,  under  the  name  of  Caer-leol,  became  a 
Saxon  city,  and  according  to  the  legends  it  was  a  favourite  residence  of  King 
Arthur.  During  the  Middle  Ages,  and  even  as  recently  as  the  eighteenth  century, 
when  the  last  effort  was  made  to  restore  the  Stuarts,  Carlisle,  owing  to  its  position 
on  the  Scotch  border  and  on  a  navigable  river,  was  a  place  of  very  great  strategical 
importance.  The  castle  occupies  an  eminence  overlooking  the  river  Eden,  and  has 
been  extensively  altered ;  but  the  keep,  built  by  William  Rufus,  remains  to  the 
present  day.  The  cathedral  is  the  most  interesting  building  of  the  town,  but  it  is 
small.  Carlisle  manufactures  cottons,  ginghams,  and  hats ;  but  its  biscuit  bakeries, 
despite  their  extent,  are  not  equal  in  productiveness  to  the  single  manufactory  at 
Reading.  A  navigable  canal  and  a  railway  join  the  old  border  fortress  to  Port 
Carlisle,  on  Morecambe  Bay,  which  is  spanned  here  by  a  formidable  railway 
viaduct. 

Penrith,  in  the  fertile  valley  of  the  Eamont  (which  comes  from  the  UUeswater, 
and  flows  to  the  river  Eden),  and  on  the  borders  of  Ingle  wood  Forest,  has  its  ruined 
castle,  like  most  other  towns  in  this  border  county.  Brampton  is  an  old  town  on 
the  river  Irthing,  which  joins  the  Eden  near  Carlisle.  It  has  cotton  factories  and 
collieries.  Near  it  are  Naworth  Castle  and  the  ruins  of  Lanercost  Abbey. 
Higher  up  in  the  rocky  valley  of  the  Irthing,  and  close  to  the  Northumberland 
border,  is  Gilsland  Spa,  with  its  sulphuric  and  chalybeate  springs. 

We  now  turn  westward  towards  the  coast.    Holme  Cultram,  at  the  mouth  of  the 

♦  Sea  Fell,  3,230  feet ;  Helvellyn,  on  the  Westmoreland  border,  3,118  feet;  Skiddaw,  3,058  feet. 


CUMBERLAND. 


287 


Waver,  is  remarkable  for  its  old  abbey  church.  Allonby  enjoys  some  favour  as  a 
watering-place.  Maryport  is  one  of  the  coal-shipping  towns  of  Cumberland,  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Eller,  with  a  harbour  enclosed  between  two  piers.  Cottons  and  lead 
pencils  are  manufactured,  and  ships  built.  The  coal  mines,  upon  which  the  town 
mainly  depends  for  its  prosperity,  lie  at  Dearham,  a  couple  of  miles  inland.  Work- 
ington, another  coal- shipping  port,  is  at  the  mouth  of  the  Derwent.      Whitehaven  is 

Fig.  142.  -  Screes  at  Wastwateu,  Cumhehland. 


more  important  than  either  of  the  above,  and  besides  shipping  immense  quantities 
of  coal  and  iron  ore,  engages  in  the  manufacture  of  iron,  canvas,  cottons,  ropes, 
and  other  articles.  The  coal  mines  extend  under  the  sea.  Much  of  the  coal  shipped 
from  Whitehaven  is  brought  from  the  colliery  town  of  Cleaton  3Ioor,  whilst  I^gre- 
mont,  a  few  miles  to  the  south,  supplies  hematite  iron  ores.  During  the  American 
War  of  Independence  in  1778,  Paul  Jones,  the  famous  privateer,  had  the  audacity 
to  land  at  Whitehaven,  where  he  spiked  the  guns  and  set  fire  to  two  English  ships 


288 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


which  he  found  in  the  harbour.  St.  Bees,  an  interesting  old  village  to  the  south 
of  Whitehaven,  is  widely  known  as  the  seat  of  a  college  for  the  training  of  Church 
of  England  clergymen.  Ravenglass,  on  a  shallow  bay  into  which  the  Esk  and  the 
Irt  (the  latter  the  emissary  of  Wastwater)  discharge  themselves,  engages  in  oyster- 
fishing  and  the  coasting  trade.  It  is  a  quiet  place,  whilst  Millom,  on  the  estuary 
of  the  Duddon,  rings  with  the  noise  of  iron  and  steel  works. 

We  now  enter  that  portion  of  the  county  which  is  so  famed  for  its  scenery, 
and  the  capital  of  which  is  Kesicick.  Situate  in  a  beautiful  vale  under  Skiddaw, 
and  near  the  foot  of  Der  went  water,  one  of  the  most  charming    lakes,  Keswick 


Fig.  143. — The  Falls  of  Lodore. 


*^^^^-^^-^^     /5^      'Z'-*^ 


has  naturally  become  the  principal  head-quarters  for  tourists.  Amongst  the  spots 
most  frequently  visited  are  the  Falls  of  Lodore,  near  the  head  of  the  lake, 
immortalised  by  Southey's  well-known  lines  commencing  — 
"  How  does  the  water  come  down  at  Lodore  ?" 
Greta  Hall,  where  Southey  lived  from  1803  till  the  time  of  his  death,  stands  near 
Keswick.  The  Upper  Derwent,  in  its  course  to  Derwentwater,  flows  through  the 
beautiful  valley  of  Borrowdale,  which  formeidy,  before  the  mines  in  Siberia  had 
been  discovered,  supplied  the  best   '•  wadd,"   or  plumbago,  for  the  manufacture 


DUEHAM.  289 

of  lead  pencils.     The  Bowder  Stone — a  huge  erratic  block,  weighing  2,000  tons— 
lies  at  the  entrance  to  this  valley. 

The  Derwent,  below  Keswick,  flows  through  Bassenthwaite  Water,  and  then 
enters  the  manufacturing  town  of  Cockermouth,  prettily  situated  at  its  confluence 
with  the  Cocker.  There  are  cotton,  woollen,  and  paper  mills.  The  ruins  of 
the  castle,  dismantled  in  1648,  are  very  extensive.  Cockermouth  was  the  birthplace 
of  Wordsworth. 

The  only  towns  which  remain  to  be  noticed  are  Wilton,  10  miles  to  the  south 
of  Carlisle,  which  has  a  Quakers'  Academy,  and  Alston,  in  the  extreme  east  of  the 
county,  on  the  Southern  Tyne,  which  belongs  geographically  to  Northumber- 
land, and  is  known  for  its  lead  mines,  the  property  of  Greenwich  Hospital. 

Durham,  bounded  on  the  south  by  the  Tees,  and  on  the  north  by  the  Tyne  and 
its  tributary  Derwent,  is  traversed  in  its  centre  by  the  Wear.  It  is  occupied  to 
a  large  extent  by  heathy  moorlands,  but  the  valleys  and  the  south-eastern  portion 
of  the  county  are  fertile.  This  deficiency  of  cultivable  land  is,  however,  amplv 
compensated  for  by  the  mineral  treasures  buried  in  the  soil.  The  western  moun- 
tainous part  of  the  county  is  rich  in  lead,  whilst  its  centre  is  occupied  by  a 
broad  band  of  coal  measures  extending  from  the  Lower  Tyne  to  the  Tees.  Agri- 
culture is  carried  on  with  much  spirit.  The  Teeswater  variety  of  short-horned 
cattle  is  one  of  the  best  in  the  kingdom,  and  the  native  sheep  are  large,  and 
produce  fine  combing  fleeces.  The  manufactures  are  various,  but  every  other 
branch  of  industry  is  dwarfed  by  huge  iron  works,  busy  machine  factories,  and 
noisy  ship-yards  for  the  construction  of  iron  vessels. 

The  Tees  rises  on  the  eastern  slope  of  Cross  Fell,  the  giant  of  the  Pennine 
Mountains,  and  some  of  its  upper  valleys  are  deservedly  renowned  for  picturesque 
scenery  Soon  after  entering  Durham  the  river  expands  into  a  narrow  lake, 
bordered  by  sterile  moorlands,  and  then  rushes  down  in  a  series  of  wild  cataracts, 
known  as  the  Caldron  Spout.  A  few  miles  lower  it  forms  the  High  Force  (50  feet), 
the  finest  waterfall  in  Eastern  England.  It  passes  Middleton-in-Teesdaley  near 
which  are  lead-mills,  and  then  washes  the  foot  of  the  declivity  upon  which  stands 
the  ancient  city  of  Barnard  Castle.  The  castle,  now  in  ruins,  was  built  1112-32 
by  Bernard  Baliol,  and  was  at  one  time  a  stronghold  of  considerable  importance. 
Close  to  it  rise  the  modern  museum  and  picture  gallery,  the  contents  of  which  are 
for  the  most  part  the  gift  of  the  owner  of  the  neighbouring  Streatham  Castle. 
The  town  has  a  few  manufactures,  but  it  is  only  when  we  reach  Darlington  and 
Stockton,  on  the  Lower  Tees,  that  we  enter  one  of  the  great  industrial  districts  of 
Northern  England.  Darlington,  on  the  Skerne,  a  few  miles  above  its  confluence 
with  the  Tees,  is  one  of  the  principal  seats  of  the  Quakers,  whose  influence  there 
is  considerable.  The  town  lies  in  a  fertile  country,  and  is  one  of  the  busiest 
manufacturing  centres  of  the  north.  There  are  factories  for  building  locomotives, 
blast  furnaces,  and  rolling-mills — Durham  supplying  the  coal;  the  Cleveland  Hills, 
on  the  Yorkshire  side  of  the  Tees,  the  iron  and  iron  ore.  The  railroad  which  joins 
Darlington  to  Stockton-on-Tees  is  the  oldest  in  the  world,  having  been  opened  in 
1825,  or  four  years  before  railway  communication  was  established  between  Liverpool 


290 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


and  Manchester.  Stockton,  4  miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  Tees,  is  joined  by  a 
bridge  to  South  Stockton,  in  Yorkshire,  and  has  iron  works,  ship-yards,  sail-cloth 
factories,  and  glass  houses.  Near  Stockton  are  the  village  of  BilUngham,  with 
an  old  Norman  church,  and  Wynyard,  the  Grecian  mansion  of  the  Earl  of 
Lonsdale.  Port  Clarence,  at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  has  iron  works,  and  exports 
much  coal.  The  Bay  of  the  Tees  is  much  cumbered  with  sand-banks,  but  its 
navigation  is  rendered  safe  by  lights,  buoys,  and  embankments. 

Turning  north  from  it,  we  pass  the  pretty  bathing-place  of  Seaton  Carew,  with 
beautiful  sands  and  the  remains  of  a  submerged  forest,  and  reach  Hartlepool, 
proudly  seated  upon  a  bold  promontory,  whence  we  overlook  a  wide  expanse  of 
the  sea  and  wild  country  backed  by  the  Yorkshire  hills.     An  opulent  city  in  the 


Fig.  144.— Hartlepool. 
Scale  1  :  85,000. 


no 


Depth  under  5 
Fathoms. 


1  Mile. 


time  of  the  early  Norman  kings,  Hartlepool  in  course  of  time  fell  from  its  high 
estate,  and  at  the  beginning  of  the  present  century  had  hardly  1,000  inhabitants. 
The  leading  place  in  the  commercial  movements  of  England,  which  it  has  taken  since 
1832,  is  wholly  due  to  the  opening  of  coal  mines  in  its  vicinity,  and  to  the  construc- 
tion of  docks,  quays,  and  warehouses.  The  present  town  of  Hartlepool  is  altogether  a 
creation  of  modern  times.  Its  docks,  accessible  to  vessels  drawing  26  feet  of  water, 
partly  occupy  an  ancient  inlet  of  the  sea,  and  quite  a  new  town,  West  Hartlepool, 
has  sprung  up  to  the  south  of  them.  Hartlepool  imports  corn,  flour,  timber,  and 
live  animals,  and  exports  in  return  coal  and  the  produce  of  its  iron  and  engineering 
works.  Ship-building  is  actively  carried  on.  Throston  is  a  small  town  to  the 
westward,  and  almost  a  suburb  of  Hartlepool. 


DURHAM.  291 

The  only  place  of  note  along  the  rather  tame  coast  between  Hartlepool  and 
Sunderland  is  Seaham,  near  which  are  important  collieries. 

The  river  Wear,  with  all  its  tributaries,  lies  wholly  within  the  county  of  Durham. 
Rising  near  the  Kilhope  Law,  it  first  flows  through  the  weird  and  picturesque 
Weardale,  and  then,  forcing  itself  a  passage  through  a  succession  of  gorges,  finds 
its  way  to  the  German  Ocean.  Castles  and  parks  are  numerous  along  its  banks, 
and  alternate  with  collieries  and  iron  works,  but  notwithstanding  manufactories 
and  the  unsightly  heaps  of  slags,  its  valley  still  remains  the  Arcadia  of  England. 
Stanhope,  in  the  upper  part  of  the  valley,  depends  upon  the  lead  mines  and 
quarries  in  its  neighbourhood.  On  reaching  Wolsingham  we  first  enter  the  coal 
and  iron  region.  All  around  it,  as  well  as  about  Toiclaw,  to  the  north-east  of  it, 
coal,  iron,  and  limestone  are  found  in  abundance.  Bishop  Auckland,  prettily 
seated  on  a  hill,  has  an  old  castle,  one  of  the  manorial  residences  of  the  ancient 
Bishops  of  Durham,  standing  in  the  midst  of  an  extensive  park.  The  bridge 
which  spans  the  river  at  this  town  was  built  upon  Roman  foundations  by  Bishop 
Skirlaw  in  1388.  Collieries  and  iron  works  abound  in  the  vicinity  of  Auckland, 
one  of  their  principal  centres  being  Spenny  Moor,  to  the  north-east.  The  Wear 
here  abruptly  turns  to  the  northward  and  penetrates  a  narrow  gorge,  formerly 
defended  by  the  Roman  station  of  Vinovium,  upon  the  site  of  which  stands  the 
village  of  Binchester. 

On  leaving  the  gorge  the  river  once  more  winds  between  gentle  hills  until  it 
approaches  the  bold  promontory  upon  the  summit  of  which  rise  proudly  the  Norman 
cathedral  and  the  keep  of  the  castle  built  by  William  the  Conqueror,  and  which 
subsequently  became  the  residence  of  the  bishops.  Since  1833  the  castle  has  been 
occupied  by  a  university,  which  Cromwell  intended  to  establish,  and  which  owes  its 
origin  to  the  enormous  increase  in  the  revenues  of  Durham  Cathedral,  mainly 
derived  from  collieries.  The  University  of  Durham  enjoys  the  same  privileges  as 
Oxford  and  Cambridge.  It  possesses  a  library  rich  in  precious  manuscripts,  a 
museum,  and  an  observatory,  and  students  are  able  to  pursue  their  studies  at  a  far  less 
expense  than  either  at  Oxford  or  Cambridge.  Notwithstanding  this  the  university 
is  very  little  frequented,  and  this  appears  to  be  owing  to  the  servility  with 
which  the  mechanical  routine  followed  at  the  older  universities  has  been  copied. 
The  organization  of  the  University  of  Durham  is  altogether  under  the  direction 
of  the  clergy,  and  the  chapter  of  the  cathedral  virtually  governs  it.* 

Durham  has  carpet  and  woollen  manufactories  and  iron  works.  Collieries 
are  numerous  in  its  vicinity.  A  few  miles  to  the  west  of  it  stand  the  remains  of 
Neville's  Cross,  where  the  '*  Battle  of  the  Red  Hills"  was  fought  in  1346.  Some 
of  the  weapons  used  on  that  occasion  are  preserved  at  the  ancient  castle  of  the 
Nevilles  at  Brancepeth,  to  the  south.  Ascending  the  valley  of  the  Browney, 
which  joins  the  Wear  above  Durham,  we  pass  TJshaw  College,  a  Roman  Catholic 
seminary  founded  in  1808  on  a  bleak  and  barren  hill,  and  finally  reach  the  small 
colliery  town  of  Lancheater,  near  which  are  extensive  remains  of  the  Roman 
station  of  Epideum. 

*  Demogeot  et  Montucci,  "  De  rEuseignement  superieur  en  Angleterre  et  en  Ecosse." 


292 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


Chester-le- Street,  on  the  Wear  below  Durham,  is  supposed  to  have  been  the 
Condercum  of  the  Romans.     A  pleasant  country  town  formerly,  it  has  expanded 


Fig.  145. — The  Durham  Coast  between  Sunderland  and  the  Tyne. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chart.    Scale  1  :  120,000. 


'Tf  '  '^_/?  vf^-^   8'"-  ^ 


'        '  6  U 


R'f 


IS  19 

3 


25 


-••?  BolJoti  \ 


7     7  la    ,s 


11 


to 


loqharh. 


''  •*  a  .   a  ^  Q.  T  tC  -To/5  r*t  1 


'..,,.  Carrr^        "      Wl  83  23 


J6'     V^' 


i.':  Whitburn  StiU       « 
2    .V'       •    7  \     9        H  \  r 


^2i         22 


/«>'    ,«  «^ 


e.blk.spk 


:  J U  ».  1'  t  LV K Rujrvtn'^lSlcbb f/yii J3 * 7m. .  /8 


WKi^  i'\i*  f3i(iSifWhtUL Stones       ,„      'fi  \      ..  V" 


,y /Jj^  gl^fH^ite. 


-IT;;  -^-^    7  „     r»        1/      .. 


Miles. 


into  a  place  of  collieries  and  iron  works  like  its  neighbour,  Jlougkton-le- Spring,  to 
the  eastward. 


NOETHUMBERLAND.  293 

The  mouth  of  the  Wear  is  occupied  on  both  sides  by  the  great  city  of  Sunder- 
Id^d — which  consists  of  Sunderland  proper ;  Bishop  Wearmouth,  on  the  south  bank; 
and  Monkwearmouth  and  Southwick,  on  the  north  bank  of  the  river — and  is  only 
inferior  to  Newcastle  as  a  coal-shipping  port.  Its  vast  docks  and  the  river  are 
at  all  times  crowded  with  vessels,  and  only  London,  Liverpool,  and  the  Tyne 
ports  surpass  it  in  the  amount  of  their  shipping.  Formerly  Sunderland  pointed 
with  pride  to  its  iron  bridge,  which  spans  the  river  Wear  in  one  stupendous  arch 
of  237  feet,  and  at  a  height  of  100  feet  above  the  water  ;  but  constructions  of  this  kind 
have  become  numerous  in  an  age  of  railways.  Far  more  singular  is  the  lighthouse 
on  the  southern  pier,  which,  notwithstanding  its  weight  of  338  tons,  was  moved 
bodily  a  distance  of  300  feet.  Sunderland  is  an  important  manufacturing  town. 
The  ship-yards  employ  several  thousand  workmen,  and  there  are  glass  houses, 
machine  factories,  iron-mills,  and  foundries. 

The  coast  between  Sunderland  and  the  Tyne  presents  some  striking  scenery. 
At  Roker  curious  caverns  abound  in  the  limestone  rock,  and  to  the  north  of  the 
cheerful  watering-place  of  Whitburn  are  the  wild  and  striking  Marsden  Rocks,  one 
of  them  forming  an  archway  beneath  which  boats  can  pass. 

The  valley  of  the  Derwent,  which  joins  the  Tyne  above  Newcastle,  is  rich  in 
collieries  and  iron  works.  The  principal  towns  within  its  basin  are  Consett, 
Benfielddde  (opposite  Shotley  Bridge),  on  the  Northumberland  side  of  the  river, 
and  Leadgate.  The  Tyne  bounds  the  county  on  the  north ;  but  though  it  forms 
a  civil  boundary,  the  towns  on  both  banks  are  engaged  in  the  same  industries,  and 
may  all  of  them  be  looked  upon  as  dependencies  of  Newcastle.  Passing  the 
colliery  towns  of  Ryton  and  Blaydon,  the  Tyne  flows  between  Newcastle  and  its 
southern  suburb  Gateshead,  with  machine  factories,  chemical  works,  iron  foundries, 
and  glass  houses.  Felling  is  passed  below  Gateshead,  and  then  we  reach  Jarroic^ 
a  large  town  with  docks,  ship-yards,  chemical  works,  and  paper-mills,  interesting 
as  the  scene  of  the  labours  of  the  Venerable  Bede,  who  was  born  at  the  neighbouring 
village  of  Monkton.  South  Shields,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Tees,  connected  by  a 
steam  ferry  with  North  Shields,  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river,  has  ship-yards 
and  other  industrial  establishments,  and  exports  large  quantities  of  coal.  The 
"ballast  hills  "  near  the  town  are  interesting  to  botanists,  for  many  exotic  plants 
grow  upon  them  from  seed  carried  thither  in  the  ballast  discharged  from  vessels 
coming  from  foreign  parts. 

Northumberland,  the  northernmost  county  of  England,  extends  along  the 
German  Ocean  from  the  Tyne  to  the  Tweed.  The  entire  western  half  of  it  is 
occupied  by  mountain  moors,  producing  hardly  anything  but  heath,  except  in 
the  Cheviots,  which  are  distinguished  for  their  fine  verdure.  Agriculture  is 
possible  only  in  the  narrow  valleys  which  intersect  these  hills.  The  maritime 
portion  of  the  county  is  more  favourably  circumstanced,  and  the  soil,  consisting 
of  strong  clayey  loam,  is  for  the  most  part  very  fertile.  Yet  in  no  other  part  of 
England  have  arable  husbandry  and  stock-  breeding  made  more  progress,  principally 
owing  to  the  large  size  of  the  farms  and  the  leases  which  secure  to  the  tenants  the 
full  results  of  their  labour.     The  great  coal-field  which  extends  across  the  Tyne  to 


294 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


the  sea-coast  has  materially  added  to  the  wealth  of  what  would  otherwise  be  a 
purely  agricultural  county,  and  given  rise  to  important  industries.  Of  these  the 
construction  of  machinery,  the  building  of  iron  ships,  and  the  making  and  founding 
of  iron  take  the  lead,  and  in  comparison  with  them  the  potteries,  glass  houses 
brass  foundries,  artificial  manure  works,  and  paper-mills  are  comparatively 
unimportant. 

Newcastle-on-Tyne,  with  its  satellite  towns,  forms  one  of  the  greatest  agglomera- 
tions of  houses  and  factories  in  England.  The  Tyne  between  it  and  the  sea,  8 
miles  below,  resembles  an  elongated  dock  rather  than  a  river,  and  its  quays  are  at 
all  times  crowded  with  shipping.      Towns  and  groups  of  factories  succeed  each 


Fig.  146. — Sunderland,  Newcastle,  and  the  Mouth  of  the  Tyne, 
Scale  1  :  250,000. 


5  to  11 

Fathoms 


11  to  22 

Fathoms 


Over  22 
Fathoms. 


2  Miles. 


other  in  rapid  succession  along  both  banks  of  the  river,  and  at  night  their  flaring 
furnaces  present  a  scene  of  uncanny  grandeur.  Opposite  Newcastle,  as  already 
remarked,  lies  Gateshead;  then  come  the  houses  of  Felling,  likewise  on  the 
Durham  bank ;  whilst  the  opposite  shore  is  lined  by  the  alkali  and  vitriol  works  of 
Walker.  A  bend  in  the  river  brings  us  within  sight  of  Willmgton  Quay,  where 
the  Eoman  Segedunum  stood  formerly,  and  of  Walkend,  at  the  eastern  extremity 
of  the  Roman  wall.  Howden  Pans  comes  next,  with  ship-yards  and  tar  and  varnish 
factories.  Near  it,  at  Hayhole,  are  the  Northumberland  Docks,  and  beyond  these 
we  reach  North  Shields,  a  great  coal-shipping  port,  also  largely  engaged  in  ship- 
building, anchor  forging,  and  the  making  of  pottery.  Tynemouth  rises  at  the  very 
mouth  of  the  Tyne,  and  though  enclosed  with  Shields  within  the  same  municipal 


NOETHUMBEELAND.  295 

boundary,  it  is  a  separate  town,  aspiring  to  be  called  the  "  Brighton  of  the  North." 
The  promontory  upon  which  it  rises  is  crowned  with  an  old  castle,  now  converted 
into  barracks,  and  the  ruins  of  a  priory,  and  affords  a  wide  view  of  the  sea. 

Netccastle,  on  the  northern  bank  of  the  Tyne,  is  supposed  to  be  the  modern 
representative  of  the  Roman  Pons  ^lii,  and  remained  a  military  town  through- 
out the  Middle  Ages,  of  which  fact  the  keep  of  its  castle,  built  by  Robert 
Shorthose,  and  portions  of  the  city  walls  remind  us.  It  was  frequently  besieged, 
and  often  changed  hands  between  Scotch  and  English,  according  to  the  fortunes 
of  war.  The  old  town,  around  its  Nortnan  keep  and  the  venerable  church  of  St. 
Nicholas,  whose  spire  is  carried  aloft  by  four  flying  buttresses,  has  retained 
narrow  winding  streets,  but  the  new  town  on  the  hills  has  wide  streets  and  many 
houses  built  of  limestone  or  Scotch  granite.  At  the  head  of  its  finest  street  rises  a 
column  surmounted  by  a  statue  of  Earl  Grey.  The  high-level  bridge,  which  crosses 
the  valley  of  the  Tyne  at  a  height  of  110  feet,  and  is  1,327  feet  in  length,  is  the  most 
stupendous  monument  of  Newcastle.  It  is  one  of  the  great  works  of  Robert  Stephen- 
son, whose  colossal  statue  stands  in  front  of  the  railway  station.  The  Wood  Memorial 
Hall  contains  the  collections  of  the  Literary  and  Philosophical  Society  and  of  the 
Institute  of  Mining  and  Mechanical  Engineers,  and  the  "  keep  "  has  been  con- 
verted into  a  museum  of  Roman  and  British  antiquities.  But  that  which  most 
strikes  the  visitor  to  the  metropolis  of  coal  is  its  machine  factories,  potteries, 
chemical  works,  and  foundries,  and  the  intense  activity  of  its  port.  The  Armstrong 
gun  foundry  at  Elswick  occupies  nearly  a  whole  suburb  to  the  west  of  the  town, 
and  rivals  in  importance  the  great  Government  works  at  Woolwich.  Though  its 
resources  have  been  little  called  upon  by  the  military  authorities  of  England, 
foreign  Governments  have  freely  availed  themselves  of  them,  and  Elswick,  between 
1856  and  1876,  has  supplied  to  them  over  4,000  pieces  of  ordnance  of  nearly  every 
pattern  now  in  use. 

The  spectacle  presented  by  the  river  port  below  Newcastle  is  full  of  animation. 
On  all  sides  we  perceive  long  strings  of  vessels  moored  to  the  shore,  beneath  high 
scaffoldings,  to  the  very  extremity  of  which  travel  the  railway  trucks  laden  with 
coal,  there  to  be  tilted  up,  so  that  their  contents  may  discharge  themselves  into 
the  hold  of  the  vessels  lying  below.  In  the  course  of  four  hours  a  steamer  of 
1,200  tons  burden  has  taken  in  its  full  cargo  of  coal.  Thirty-three  hours  after- 
wards it  arrives  at  London,  where  ten  hours  are  occupied  in  unloading  it.  Another 
thirty -four  hours  and  the  steamer  is  back  at  Newcastle,  ready  for  another  cargo. 
Thus  in  three  days  and  six  hours  the  whole  of  this  commercial  transaction  is 
completed.  The  application  of  steam  to  machinery,  and  the  great  improvements  of 
the  mechanical  arrangements  for  loading  vessels  which  have  been  made  since  the 
middle  of  the  century,  have  vastly  benefited  the  coal  merchants  of  Newcastle.  A 
steamer  with  a  crew  of  21  men  now  carries  as  large  a  quantity  of  coal  in  the 
course  of  a  year  as  was  formerly  done  by  16  sailing  colliers  manned  by  144  men. 

In  good  seasons  the  ports  of  the  Tyne  export  close  upon  6,000,000  tons  of 
coal,  and  their  commerce,  whilst  much  inferior  to  that  of  Liverpool  or  London, 
surpasses  that  of  every  continental  port,  including  even  Hamburg,  Antwerp,  and 


296  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

Marseilles.  Sometimes  300  colliers  leave  the  Tyiie  on  tlie  same  tide.  But  in 
order  to  develop  this  immense  traffic,  Newcastle  has  been  compelled  to  expend  large 
sums  in  improvements  of  every  description.  It  maintains  more  than  250  tugs  on  the 
Tyne,  as  well  as  numerous  pilot-boats  off  the  mouth  of  the  river.  Formerly  the 
mouth  of  the  Tyne  was  obstructed  by  a  bar,  and  up  to  1849  vessels  drawing  over 
6  feet  of  water  were  unable  to  enter.  But  dredges  were  set  to  work,  and  not  only 
has  a  dept"h  of  26  feet  been  secured  at  low  water,  but  the  scour  of  the  river  has 
swept  away  many  sand-banks,  and  the  strong  tidal  current  which  now  ascends 
the  river  has  revived  the  salmon  fisheries,  which  the  poisonous  streams  discharged 
by  numerous  factories  had  nearly  killed.  The  mouth  of  no  other  river,  not  even 
excepting  that  of  the  Clyde,  has  been  adapted  with  greater  success  to  the  require- 
ments of  navigation. 

Ascending  the  river  Tyne  above  Newcastle,  we  pass  the  village  of  Wylam,  where 
George  Stephenson  was  born,  and  reach  Hexham,  a  quaint  old  town  below  the  con- 
fluence of  the  South  and  North  Tyne,  with  a  fine  old  abbey  church,  a  grammar 
school,  and  a  little  industry.  The  South  Tyne,  though  rich  in  picturesque  scenery, 
is  poor  in  population.  Allendale,  in  a  side  valley,  has  lead  mines  ;  Haltwistle  is  but 
a  poor  place  ;  and  Alston,  with  its  productive  lead  mines,  though  geographically 
within  the  county,  belongs  politically  to  Cumberland  (see  p.  289). 

Far  more  interesting  is  the  small  town  of  Bellingham,  on  the  North  Tyne. 
Its  environs  abound  in  square  camps,  and  a  few  miles  to  the  north  of  it  was  fought 
the  battle  of  Otterhurn  (1388),  supposed  to  be  referred  to  in  the  famous  ballad  of 
**  Chevy  Chase." 

Returning  to  Tynemouth  and  proceeding  northward  along  the  coast,  we  pass 
the  fishing  village  of  Cullercoats ;  Hartley,  well  known  for  its  excellent  coal ;  and 
Blyth,  a  watering-place  no  less  than  a  coal-shipping  port.  Cowpen,  near  it,  has 
collieries,  as  have  also  Cramlington  and  Seghill,  situated  a  few  miles  inland,  but 
Bedlington  is  the  great  mining  centre  of  the  district. 

Morpeth  is  a  quaint  old  town  on  the  Wansbeck,  with  the  remains  of  a  castle. 
A  little  flannel  is  woven,  and  collieries  are  worked  in  its  vicinity.  These  are 
nearly  the  last  met  with  in  the  north  of  England,  and  the  beautiful  valley  of  the 
Coquet  is  wholly  devoted  to  agriculture.  Rothbury,  its  chief  market  town,  is 
inferior  in  population  to  the  busy  hives  in  the  manufacturing  and  mining  districts, 
but  yields  to  none  in  the  beauty  of  its  environs.  Old  camps  abound  in  its  vicinity, 
and  about  a  mile  to  the  west  is  a  peel  tower,  one  of  many  which  formerly 
defended  the  Scottish  borders.*  Warkuorth,  a  village  at  the  mouth  of  the  Coquet, 
is  remarkable  for  the  noble  ruins  of  one  of  the  strongholds  of  the  Percys. 

Alnwick,  on  the  Aln,  4  miles  above  its  mouth  at  the  bathing  village  of  Aln- 
mouth,  is  a  quaint  old  town  under  the  modernised  castle  of  the  Duke  of  Northum- 
berland. This  castle  contains  valuable  paintings  and  collections  of  various  kinds,  and 
the  park  which  surrounds  it  forms  one  of  the  great  attractions  of  the  neighbourhood. 

The  coast  of  Northumberland,  to  the  north  of  the  Aln  and  as  far  as  Budle 
Bay,  is  bounded  by  limestone  cliffs,  and  at  a  few  places  by  basalt.  On  one  such 
*  Peel  tower,  derived  from  pila,  a  stake,  pillar,  statue. 


NORTHUMBERLAND.  '  297 

mass  of  columnar  basalt  is  perched  the  ancient  castle  of  Dunstanborough,  whose 
foundation  dates  probably  back  to  a  period  anterior  to  that  of  the  Romans. 
Another  basaltic  promontory  is  crowned  with  Bamhorough  Castle,  which  formerly 
defended  a  town  of  importance,  now  represented  by  a  small  fishing  village.  Off 
this  castle  lie  the  basaltic  Farn  Islands,  where  seals  are  met  with,  and  which 
abound  in  sea-birds.  The  largest  of  these  islands  has  an  old  chapel  and  a  grave- 
yard, associated  with  the  name  of  St.  Cuthbert ;  while  one  of  the  smallest  a  mere 

Fig.  147.— Holy  Island. 
Prom  an  Admiralty  Chart.     Scale  1  :  120,000. 


-»     a 


K  M 


\2i  27 


'  '  "  >-     "'       «         '^  X        ^ 


- '  ':•<  J  C  o  f w  .  c  k  B  ay  5--^i  }i€,.iJ    f  i2 


'    ^>Vf^'^"^^  *"Nii 


isfarnj:  -^/VXt  t'I-'^-         .d"^      .„^  ^ 

,-    ♦  ,  O  "  ^t|--  '     ■  '    >"     7,7    /orA        y 

M'        :i,^-        S-       a     7     s     J^fSf^^"             ]lJ            Z4  zs 

■   X   *,  3^^  flolyl,l«dH^'     *  ^-'^       9,       14      'i  ^-^ ^ 

^         iA  4  .t  Ska.ie  Road   \«        .  -     „\ 


2   Miles. 


patch  of  rock  rising  a  few  feet  above  the  water,  is  occupied  by  the  Longstone  Rock 
Lighthouse,  the  home  of  Grace  Darling. 

A  little  farther  north  is  Holp  Island,  famous  in  ecclesiastical  history  on  account 
of  its  cathedral  of  Lindisfarne,  the  site  of  which  is  occupied  by  the  ruins  of  a  priory 
church,  a  miniature  imitation  of  Durham  Cathedral. 

The  river  Till  skirts  the  southern  and  eastern  foot  of  the  Cheviot  Hills, 
and  enters  the  Tweed  about  12  miles  above  its  mouth  at  Berwick-on -Tweed. 
Wooler,  an  old  market  town,  is  the  principal  place  in  the  valley  of  the  Till. 
Humbleton,  or  Homildon   Hill,  in  its  neighbourhood,  is  crowned  with  a  circular 

116— E 


298  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

entrenchment,  and  rises  in  the  centre  of  the  field  on  which  Percy,  Earl  of  North- 
umberland, defeated  a  Scotch  army  in  1402.  The  more  famous  Field  of  Flodden 
the  scene  of  the  crushing  defeat  and  death  of  James  IV.,  lies  8  miles  to  the  north- 
west, not  far  from  the  Tweed.  Chillingham  Castle,  often  referred  to  in  connection 
with  its  breed  of  wild  cattle,  is  about  4  miles  above  Wooler,  on  the  Till. 

Berwick-on-Tiveed,  the  old  border  fortress,  lies  at  the  mouth  of  the  Tweed,  and 
vessels  of  500  tons  burden  can  approach  its  quays.  The  old  bastioned  walls  are 
still  in  good  condition.  A  bridge  and  a  stupendous  railway  viaduct,  2,160  feet 
in  length,  connect  Berwick  with  its  suburb  Ttceedmouth,  on  the  southern  bank  of 
the  river.  Spittal,  much  frequented  for  its  sea  baths,  adjoins  the  latter  on  the 
east.  Berwick  has  iron  foundries  and  machine  factories,  and  exports  the  salmon 
caught  in  the  Tweed,  packed  in  ice.  This  is  the  northernmost  town  in  England, 
of  which  it  has  formed  part  only  since  1482,  in  which  year  it  was  finally  wrested 
from  the  Scotch. 


CHAPTER  XII. 


THE    I8LE    OF    MAN. 


HE  Isle  of  Man  lies  about  the  centre  of  the  Irish  Sea,  and  within 
sight  of  the  three  constituent  parts  of  the  United  Kingdom.  It 
is  a  little  nearer  to  Scotland  than  to  England,  but  to  judge  by  the 
formation  of  the  sea-bottom,  it  forms  a  natural  dependency  of  the 
county  of  Cumberland.  The  depth  of  the  sea  between  Man  and 
the  English  coast  averages  100  feet,  whilst  in  the  direction  of  the  Scotch  county 
of  Wigton  it  is  at  least  160  feet,  and  soundings  of  420  feet  are  met  with  on 
voyaging  towards  the  Irish  port  of  Belfast.  In  order  to  determine  whether  the 
Isle  of  Man  is  a  natural  dependency  of  Ireland  or  Great  Britain,  Halley  tells  us  * 
serpents  and  toads  were  carried  thither.  They  survived,  and  hence  it  was 
concluded  that  Man  is  English,  for  these  animals  cannot  live  upon  the  soil  of  the 
Emerald  Isle.  The  remains  of  the  so-called  elk,  so  numerous  in  Ireland,  were 
first  discovered  on  the  Isle  of  Man.f 

The  geographical  position  of  the  island  at  nearly  equal  distances  from  three 
potent  centres  of  attraction  has  frequently  enabled  the  inhabitants  to  maintain 
their  independence,  notwithstanding  that  they  were  surrounded  by  enemies.  On 
some  occasions,  however,  they  quickly  changed  masters,  according  to  the  oscilla- 
tions of  political  power  amongst  their  neighbours.  During  the  early  Middle  Ages 
the  inhabitants  of  Man  were  subjected  to  the  influences  of  Ireland  and  Scotland. 
Subsequently  the  island  fell  under  the  sway  of  Danish  pirates,  and  was  incorporated 
into  their  "  Kingdom  of  the  Islands."  When  this  kingdom  was  sold  to  the  Scots 
in  1264,  Man  passed  with  it  into  their  possession  ;  but  some  time  afterwards  it  was 
wrested  from  the  Scotch,  and  made  a  separate  "kingdom,"  dependent  upon 
England.  Thomas,  Earl  of  Derby,  relinquished  the  title  of  King  of  Man,  and 
took  that  of  Lord,  and  since  1784  the  British  Government  has  purchased  all  the 
sovereign  rights  and  privileges  appertaining  to  the  island.  Man,  at  the  present 
time,  is  a  dependency  of  the  British  crown,  unrepresented  in  the  Imperial  Parlia- 
ment.     It  is,  in  fact,  a  kind  of  colony,  governed  by  an  independent  legislature. 


*  "Atlas  Maritimus  et  Commercialis,"  1728. 
t  George  Canning,  "  Isle  of  Man." 


300 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


called  the  Tynwald,  and  consisting  of  two  branches — the  Grovernor  and  Council, 
and  the  House  of  Keys.  The  inhabitants  of  the  island  may  consequently  claim  to 
form  a  state  within  the  state.  They  differ,  moreover,  from  their  neighbours  on  the 
larger  islands  in  their  traditions,  their  double  origin,  and  partly  also  in  language. 

Fig.  148.— The  Isle  of  Man. 
Scale  1  :  150,000, 


Depth  under  11  Fathoms. 


11  to  22  Fathoms. 


22  to  33  Fathoms. 
_  2  Miles. 


Over  33  Fathoms, 


Manx  holds  a  middle  place  between  Irish  and  Scotch  Gaelic,  but  inclines  con- 
siderably to  the  latter ;  but  it  is  spoken  now  only  in  some  of  the  more  remote 
districts,  and  altogether  by  hardly  a  fourth  part  of  the  population.  All  but  a  few 
of  the  oldest  inhabitants  understand  English.  Manx  literature,  in  addition  to 
religious  books,  includes  a  few  ballads  of  the  sixteenth  century.    The  descent  of  the 


THE  ISLE  OF  MAN.  301 

inhabitants  is  not,  however,  purely  Celtic,  for  there  has  been  a  strong  intermixture 
of  Scandinavian  blood.* 

A  range  of  mountains  of  considerable  elevation  traverses  the  island  from  the 
south-west  to  the  north-east,  and  a  depression  near  its  centre  separates  this 
range  into  two  distinct  masses.  Standing  upon  the  principal  summit  (2,004  feet), 
the  whole  of  the  Irish  Sea,  with  the  mountains  that  bound  it,  lies  spread  beneath 
us.  This  mountain  still  bears  the  Scandinavian  name  of  Snae  Fell,  or  Snow 
Mountain,  although  snow  only  covers  it  during  part  of  the  winter.  Indeed,  the 
climate  of  the  Isle  of  Man  is  very  temperate,  though  somewhat  variable,  and  the 
number  of  tourists  attracted  by  its  scenery  is  very  considerable.  The  larger  part 
of  the  island  is  the  property  of  yeomen,  who  cultivate  their  own  small  estates. 
The  mountains  yield  lead,  copper,  iron,  and  zinc. 

Castletown,  the  official  capital  of  the  island,  is  built  on  a  crescent-shaped  bay 
near  its  southern  extremity.  Peel  is  the  principal  port  on  the  western,  as 
Ramsay  is  on  the  north-eastern  coast,  but  Douglas  is  the  only  town  of  real 
importance.  It  stands  on  a  well- sheltered  bay  on  the  east  coast,  opposite 
Liverpool,  and  at  one  extremity  of  the  *'  gap  "  which  runs  athwart  the  island, 
the  other  end  being  occupied  by  Peel.  Gardens,  villas,  and  terraces  covered 
with  flowers  surround  Douglas,  and  the  roadstead  is  protected  by  a  powerful 
breakwater.  In  the  churchyard  of  Kirk  Braddan,  to  the  north-west  of  it, 
may  still  be  seen  a  raised  stone  covered  with  dragons,  carved  in  the  twelfth 
century,  and  bearing  a  mortuary  inscription  in  Runic  letters  which  Miinch  of 
Copenhagen  was  the  first  to  decipher.  So-called  Druidical  monuments  of  every 
kind  are  plentiful  throughout  the  island,  but  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  some 
of  them,  at  all  events,  are  not  older  than  the  Middle  Ages.  One  of  the  most 
curious  amongst  them  is  the  monument  at  Tynwald,  at  the  intersection  of  four 
roads,  in  the  centre  of  the  island.  We  do  not  know  whether  its  origin  is  Celtic 
or  Scandinavian,  but  to  the  present  day  it  is  put  to  the  use  for  which  it  appears 
to  have  been  intended,  for  the  local  laws  still  continue  to  be  promulgated  here 
annually  in  the  presence  of  the  Governor,  the  two  "  Deemsters,"  or  Judges,  the 
Council,  and  the  "  Keys."  According  to  tradition  a  head  Druid  or  kind  of 
Pope  of  the  Celtic  world,  officiated  in  the  Isle  of  Man  before  the  Roman  epoch, 
and  the  faithful  then  flocked  to  it  from  all  parts  to  do  him  homage.  Man  and 
Anglesey  had  formerly  the  same  name,  and  the  mediaeval  lords  of  the  island  used 
the  title  of  *'  King  of  both  the  Monas."  The  authority  of  the  Bishop  of  Sodor 
and  Man  is  now  limited  to  the  Isle  of  Man ;  the  Sodor — Stidr  eyyars ;  that 
is,  southern  islands  (when  contrasted  with  the  Orkneys) — or  Hebrides,  having 
been  separated  from  his  bishopric. 

*  H.  Jenner,  "The  Manx  Language,"  Transactions  of  the  Philological  Society,  1875. 


CHAPTER  XIII. 


SOUTHERN  SCOTLAND. 


(Wigtown,  Ayr,  Kirkcudbkight,  Dumfries,  Roxburgh,  Selkirk,  Berwick,  Haddington,  Edinburgh, 
Linlithgow,  Peebles,  Lanark,  Renfrew,  Bute,  Dumbarton,  Clackmannan,  Stirling,  Kinross, 
Fife.) 

General  Features. 

lOUTHERN  Scotland,  by  the  nature  of  its  soil  no  less  than  with 
respect  to  its  inhabitants,  forms  a  well-marked  geographical  pro- 
vince. The  far-penetrating  Solway  Firth  and  the  crest  of  the 
Cheviot  Hills  very  distinctly  mark  its  southern  boundary  towards 
England.  But  the  line  to  the  north  of  the  Clyde  and  the  Firth 
of  Forth,  which  is  supposed  to  separate  the  Scottish  Lowlands  from  the  Highlands, 
is  altogether  conventional  and  not  so  well  defined.  It  passes  through  the 
mountain  spurs  which  descend  towards  the  level  country  ;  it  separates  men  differing 
in  race,  and  marks  a  climatic  boundary.  Southern  Scotland,  such  as  it  has 
revealed  itself  in  history,  coincides  pretty  nearly  with  the  tract  of  country  enclosed 
within  the  two  old  Roman  walls.  This  tract  is  very  much  inferior  to  the  remainder 
of  Scotland  in  area,  but  far  surpasses  it  in  industry  and  power,  and  contains  two- 
thirds  of  its  population. 

The  contrasts  between  England  and  Scotland  are  manifested  even  in  the 
geological  structure  of  the  two  countries.  In  Northern  England  the  geological 
formations  strike  north  and  south,  and  the  Pennine  chain  runs  in  the  same 
direction  ;  whilst  in  Scotland  the  geological  formations,  far  more  regular  in  their 
outlines,  strike  across  the  country  from  south-west  to  north-east,  and  from  sea  to 
sea.  The  strike  is  the  same  in  the  Cheviot  Hills,  no  less  than  in  the  Carrick 
Hills,  the  Louther  Hills,  the  Moorfoot  and  Lammermuir  Hills,  to  the  south  of  the 
plain  extending  from  the  Forth  to  the  Clyde,  and  in  the  Grampians  and  other 
ranges  of  Northern  Scotland.  But  though  the  mountain  chains  in  the  two  portions 
of  Caledonia  run  in  the  same  direction,  the  rocks  which  form  them  are  different. 
The  carboniferous  formation,  which  lies  across  the  isthmus,  contrasts  with  the 
more  ancient  mountains  in  Northern  Scotland,  and  through  the  mineral  treasures 


SOUTHEEN  SCOTLAND.  808 

which  it  encloses,  it  has  exercised  a  powerful  influence  upon  the  peopling  of 
Southern  Scotland, 

But  even  long  before  the  working  of  the  coal  mines  had  attracted  a  crowded 
population  to  the  plain  of  the  Clyde,  the  Lowlands,  owing  to  their  mild  climate,  the 
fruitfulness  of  their  soil,  and  the  facilities  for  opening  up  communications,  had 
become  the  seat  of  towns.  The  veritable  centre  of  historical  Scotland  must  be 
looked  for  along  the  line  which  joins  the  banks  of  the  Tay  to  those  of  the  Forth, 
and  the  inhabitants  of  the  lateral  valleys  and  of  secondary  river  basins  gravi- 
tated towards  the  towns  in  this  central  plain.  A  cradle  of  civilisation,  distinct 
from  those  of  England,  sprang  up  of  necessity  in  this  part  of  Great  Britain. 
That  island,  being  very  elongated  in  proportion  to  its  width,  and  moreover 
inhabited  by  different  races  not  then  fused  into  a  single  nationality,  naturally 
became  the  seat  of  distinct  political  organizations,  and  political  unity  was 
established  only  after  prolonged  struggles.  The  boundary  between  Scotland  and 
England  changed  frequently  with  the  fortunes  of  war,  until  it  was  finally  fixed  at 
the  Solway  Firth,  the  Cheviot  Hills,  and  the  Tweed,  and  there  it  remained  until, 
through  a  pacific  arrangement,  the  two  countries  became  one.  Few  wars  have 
been  more  bloody  than  were  those  waged  between  Scots  and  English,  and  innu- 
merable have  been  the  occasions  on  which  the  borders  were  crossed  with  hostile 
intent.  The  Scotch  Lowlanders,  reinforced  by  Highland  clans,  frequently  invaded 
Northern  England,  and  on  one  occasion,  in  1403,  they  advanced  as  far  as  Shrews- 
bury, in  the  valley  of  the  Severn.  The  English,  on  their  side,  being  more 
numerous,  succeeded  several  times  in  conquering  Scotland,  and  frequently  laid 
waste  the  fertile  fields  of  the  isthmus.  The  natural  advantages  which  that  part  of 
Scotland  enjoyed  in  time  of  peace,  its  wealth  acquired  by  the  commerce  carried 
on  through  its  firths,  and  its  fertile  and  well-cultivated  soil  naturally  invited 
invaders  from  the  south. 

The  Cheviot  Hills,  which  form  the  central  portion  of  the  Anglo-Scotch 
frontier,  are  not  very  elevated;  but  as  their  summits,  owing  to  the  severe 
climate,  remain  covered  with  snow  for  several  months  during  the  year,  they 
form  a  substantial  obstacle,  and  communication  between  their  two  slopes  is 
difiicult. 

The  Louther  Hills  lie  within  a  belt  of  Silurian  rocks  which  extends  obliquely 
across  Southern  Scotland  from  the  shores  of  the  Irish  Sea  to  the  German  Ocean. 
Within  this  same  belt,  but  farther  towards  the  south-west,  and  in  the  midst  of  a 
desolate  region  of  crags,  gullies,  and  lakes,  rises  one  of  the  most  elevated  hills 
of  this  district,  the  Merrick  (2,764  feet).  A  rugged  upland  stretches  north- 
eastward from  the  Louther  Hills,  and  connects  them  with  the  Moorfoot  (2,136  feet) 
and  Lammermuir  Hills  (1,722  feet),  the  spurs  of  which  extend  to  the  seashore. 
A  second  range  of  hills,  less  elevated  and  formed  of  more  recent  rocks,  runs  parallel 
with  the  main  range,  and  sinks  down  to  the  level  country  of  the  Clyde  and  Forth. 
In  a  remote  geological  epoch,  whilst  the  old  red  sandstone  and  the  carboniferous 
strata  were  being  deposited  in  the  sea  which  then  covered  Scotland,  numerous 
active  volcanoes  rose  above  the  surface  of  the  water.     These  volcanoes  account  for 


804 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


the  dykes  of  lava    and   beds   of  scoriae   whicli  we   now    meet  in   the   midst  of 
sedimentary    rocks.       Being  better    capable    of    resisting    destructive   agencies 


Fig.  149. — Mount  Merrick. 

Scale  1  :  160,000. 


4'35' 


4°  25         /v.of  G. 


2  Miles. 


than  rocks  of  other  formations,  the  products  of  this  volcanic  action  still 
rise  here  and  there  into  hills  and  promontories,  which  impart  a  pleasing 
variety  to  the  country.     The  small  range  of  the  Pentland  Hills  (1,840   feet), 


SOUTHERN  SCOTLAND.  3O5 

which  terminates  to  the  south  of  Edinburgh,  is  one  of  these  groups  of  eruptive 
rocks. 

The  plain  of  the  Forth  and  Clyde  is  traversed  by  a  canal  whose  summit  level 
lies  at  an  elevation  of  only  157  feet,  and  at  this  spot  the  separation  between  the 
Lowlands  and  the  mountain  region  of  Northern  Scotland  is  consequently  well 
marked.  But  higher  up,  in  Strathclyde,  there  exists  another  breach  in  the 
mountains,  for  the  Clyde,  which  now  flows  to  the  westward,  formerly  pursued  its 
course  to  the  east,  into  the  valley  of  the  Tweed,  and  if  Measures  were  not  taken  to 
protect  against  erosion  the  gravel  deposits  of  the  plain  of  Biggar,  to  the  south  of 
Lanark,  the  Clyde  would  resume  its  ancient  course.*  The  water-parting  between 
the  Clyde  and  the  Forth  was  formerly  less  elevated,  for  raised  beaches  are  met 
with  at  many  places  along  the  estuaries  of  the  two  rivers,  at  an  elevation  of 
between  20  and  40  feet  above  the  sea-level,  and  they  contain  the  shells  of 
animals  similar  to  those  still  living  in  the  neighbouring  seas.  In  the  vicinity 
of  Glasgow,  where  repeated  opportunities  for  examining  the  soil  are  aflbrded 
by  the  construction  of  sewers,  the  bones  of  whales,  seals,  and  porpoises  have 
frequently  been  found  at  20  or  30  feet  above  the  actual  level  of  the  sea.  At 
the  time  these  cetaceans  w^ere  stranded  man  already  lived  in  the  country,  for 
close  to  their  bones  boats  of  various  descriptions  have  been  discovered,  some 
of  them  mere  dug-outs,  such  as  are  used  by  savages,  but  others  skilfully  con- 
structed of  planks,  with  pointed  prows  and  square  sterns.  Mr.  A.  Geikie  is  of 
opinion  that  these  boats  belong  to  the  historical  epoch,  and  that  the  Roman 
conquerors  of  the  country  may  have  seen  them  afloat  on  the  estuary  of  the 
Clyde.  In  the  bog  of  Blair  Drummond,  near  the  Firth  of  Forth,  a  whale  was 
unearthed,  which  had  been  harpooned  by  means  of  an  instrument  made  of  the 
antlers  of  a  stag.t  In  the  neighbourhood  of  Falkirk,  near  the  western  extremity 
of  the  Firth  of  Forth,  the  sea  formerly  extended  up  the  river  Carron,  far  beyond 
the  present  head  of  the  tide.  The  great  Roman  wall,  named  after  Antoninus, 
though  begun  by  Agricola,  extended  from  sea  to  sea,  so  as  not  to  leave  wide 
passages  at  either  end  open  to  an  invader.  Yet  no  remains  of  this  wall  have 
been  found  to  the  west  of  Dunglass,  where  it  finishes  at  a  height  of  25  feet  above 
the  present  level  of  the  sea.  In  the  east  it  terminates  on  the  top  of  a  cliff",  at 
Carriden,  near  Falkirk.+  In  the  interior  of  the  country  the  remains  of  this  wall 
may  still  be  seen  in  a  few  places,  and  at  the  close  of  last  century  it  was  even 
possible  to  distinguish  ten  forts  and  bridge-heads  which  defended  the  principal 
river  passages,  and  also  portions  of  a  ditch,  42  feet  wide  and  22  feet  deep,  which 
extended  along  its  northern  face.  This  region,  formerly  of  such  strategical 
importance,  has,  owing  to  its  vicinity  to  two  seas,  its  small  elevation,  and  the 
riches  of  its  soil  and  subsoil,  become  one  of  the  most  prosperous  of  Great  Britain, 
and,  indeed,  of  the  whole  world.  Edinburgh  and  Glasgow  are  the  two  sentinels 
of  this  Scotch   isthmus.     It  was  the  action  of  the  glaciers  which  destroyed  the 

*  A.  Goikie,  "  Scenery  and  Geology  of  Scotland." 

t  Ramsay,  "  Physical  Geology  and  Geography  of  Great  Britain." 

X  "Wilson,  "Prehistoric  Annals  of  Scotland;"  Robert  Chambers,  "  Ancient  Sea  Margins." 


806  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

more  solid  rocks,  and  spread  their  mingled  waste  over  the  plain,  thus  creating  the 
most  fertile  soil  to  be  met  with  in  all  Britain. 

Southern  Scotland  contrasts  by  its  greater  regularity  of  coast -line  with  the 
deeply  indented  shores  of  the  north.  In  the  east  only  one  peninsula,  bounded 
on  the  one  side  by  the  winding  Firth  of  Forth,  on  the  other  by  the  Firth  of 
Tay,  advances  beyond  the  line  of  coast.  In  the  west  the  broad  peninsular  mass 
of  Galloway  projects  towards  Ireland,  from  which  it  is  separated  by  a  marine 
"  pit "  having  a  depth  of  nearly  1,000  feet.  This  peninsula  terminates  in  the 
Rhinns  of  Galloway — anciently  an  island,  but  now  joined  by  a  low  neck  to  the 
mainland.  These  are  the  only  inequalities  in  the  contour  of  the  coast,  and  the 
contrast  with  the  littoral  region  of  the  Western  Highlands,  where  we  feel  almost 
lost  in  a  labyrinth  of  "  lochs,"  is  a  very  striking  one.  These  lochs,  some  of 
which  communicate  freely  with  the  sea,  whilst  others  are  lakes  drained  by  swift- 
flowing  rivers  and  torrents,  are  first  met  with  to  the  north  of  the  Clyde,  along 

Fig.  150. — The  Wall  of  Antoninus. 
Scale  1  :  555,000. 


5  Miles. 


the  skirt  of  the  Highlands.  Loch  Lomond  is  the  most  beautiful  of  all  these 
lakes,  and  that  amongst  them  which  has  most  frequently  formed  the  theme 
of  poets.  The  river  Leven  drains  it  into  the  Clyde.  A  sinuous  strait  at  its 
northern  end,  a  veritable  lake,  several  miles  in  width  near  its  centre,  but  becoming 
shallower  in  proportion  as  it  grows  wider.  Loch  Lomond  presents  its  admirers 
with  every  possible  contrast  of  scenery — gently  swelling  hills  and  rugged  crags ; 
scarped  islands  raising  their  grey  pinnacles  abruptly  above  the  translucent  water, 
and  groups  of  low  islands  covered  with  meadows  and  woods,  and  inhabited  by 
bounding  deer.  Beautiful  country  residences  are  here  and  there  seen  along  the 
shore,  whilst  near  the  northern  extremity  of  the  lake  the  long  back  of  Ben 
Lomond  (3,192  feet  high),  often  enveloped  in  mist,  rises  above  cultivated  fields 
and  forests. 

The  same  mountain  region  gives  birth  to  the  river  Forth,  one  of  the  prin- 
cipal affluents  of  which  has  the  famous  Loch  Katrine,  sung  of  in  Sir  Walter  Scott's 
*'  Lady  of  the  Lake,"  for  its  upper  reservoir.      Loch  Katrine  resembles  the  Lake 


iiiil(iiiHH£'!!i;T5r;iiiiiir;i:s;i:;«: :m 


ni  Uiiii'iMii 


nii"iniiiiiirin,i»:mii((iiii(iiiii;!iiiFiM/i!iii!i!!iii!!!ii«P'«:' '!ii™^^^^^^ 


SOUTHERN  SCOTLAND. 


807 


of  Lucerne  in  its  precipitous  rocks  and  abrupt  turnings.  But  the  guardian  spirit 
of  the  lake  has  become  the  bondmaiden  of  human  industry,  for  the  city  of 
Glasgow  has  taken  possession  of  Loch  Katrine,  in  order  that  it  may  supply  its 
inhabitants  and  factories  with  pure  water.     An  aqueduct,  44  miles  in  length,  of 


Fig.  151. — Loch  Lomond. 

Scale  1  :  350,000. 


5  Miles. 


which  12  miles  are  tunnelled,  pours  every  second  380  gallons  of  water  into  the 
reservoirs  of  the  town.  Manchester,  in  looking  to  one  of  the  lakes  of  Cumber- 
land for  its  supply  of  water,  is  only  following  the  example  set  by  this  great  city  of 
Scotland. 

Almost  without  lochs,  the  Lowlands  are  poor,  likewise,  in  islands,  and  the  larger 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


ones  form  in  more  than  one  respect  a  portion  of  tlie  Highlands.  The  island 
of  Arran,  between  the  Firth  of  Clyde  and  Kilbrannan  Sound,  rises  into 
lofty  mountains  in  its  northern  part,  and  its  most  elevated  peak,  Gaodhbhein 
(2,866  feet) — that  is,  the  "Windy  Mountain,"  corrupted  into  Goat  Fell  by  the  men 


Fig.  152. — The  Island  of  Arban. 
Scale  1  :  325,000. 


Depth  iinder  26 

26  to  55 

Over  55 

Fathoms. 

Fathoms. 

Fathoms. 
-  5  Miles. 

of  Saxon  speech — attains  a  greater  height  than  any  other  mountain  in  the  south 
of  Scotland.  Arran,  by  its  relief  and  wild  aspect,  forms  part  of  the  Highland 
region,  but  its  geological  structure  attaches  it  to  the  Lowlands ;  for  although 
its  northern  portion  is  composed  of  metamorphosed  Silurian  rocks  pierced  by 
granite,  its  southern  and  lower  half  resembles  the  neighbouring  Lowlands  in  its 


SOUTHERN  SCOTLAND.  809 

geological  features.  To  this  position  on  the  borders  of  two  geological  domains 
Arran  is  indebted  for  the  great  variety  of  its  sedimentary  and  eruptive  rocks,  and 
for  a  corresponding  variety  of  scenery.  Lamlash  Bay,  sheltered  by  Holy  Island, 
and  surrounded  by  heights  crowned  with  sepulchral  pillars  and  other  monuments, 
affords  one  of  the  safest  anchorages  on  the  Firth  of  Clyde,  and  seventy  or  eighty 
vessels  frequently  wait  here  for  days  and  weeks  for  a  favourable  wind.  The  Isle 
of  Bute,  which  penetrates  far  into  the  district  of  Gowan,  from  which  it  is  separated 
by  the  Kyles  of  Bute,  a  narrow  arm  of  the  sea,  is  remarkable  for  its  fine 
scenery. 

In  addition  to  these  two  large  islands  and  to  several  smaller  ones  which  are 
contiguous  to  them,  there  are  several  islets  of  volcanic  origin  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  coast.  One  of  these  is  Ailsa  Craig  (1,103  feet),  a  huge  block  of  basalt, 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Firth  of  Clyde.  Its  rows  of  grey  columnar  basalt  separated 
by  verdant  terraces  present  a  picture  of  singular  beauty.  The  ruins  of  a  tower 
crown  its  summit.  Another  of  these  islets  is  the  Bass  Rock  (350  feet),  at  the 
entrance  of  the  Firth  of  Forth,  and  about  2  miles  from  the  shore,  with  a  castle 
on  its  summit,  formerly  used  as  a  state  prison,  and  accessible  only  by  means 
of  ladders  and  ropes.  This  conical  rock,  when  seen  from  a  distance,  almost 
looks  as  if  it  were  overspread  with  snow,  so  densely  is  it  covered  with  sea- fowl 
of  every  description.  The  solan  goose  only  breeds  on  a  few  rocky  islets  around 
the  coast  of  Britain,  and  amongst  these  the  Bass  Rock  is  the  most  famous,  the 
scientific  name  of  the  bird — Siila  Bassana — being  derived  from  it.* 

Inhabitants. 

The  Scottish  Lowlanders  are  a  very  mixed  race,  and  even  their  name  is  a 
singular  proof  of  it.  Scotland  was  originally  known  as  Hibernia,  or  Igbernia, 
whilst  the  name  of  Scotia,  from  the  end  of  the  third  to  the  beginning  of  the 
eleventh  century,  was  exclusively  applied  to  modern  Ireland.  The  two  countries 
have  consequently  exchanged  names.  Irish  Scots,  or  Dalriads,  having  established 
themselves,  about  the  middle  of  the  third  century,  in  Argyllshire,  their  neighbours 
became  by  degrees  known  under  the  same  designation,  and  in  course  of  time  all 
the  "  Caledonians  "  were  turned  into  "  Scots."t 

It  does  not  appear  as  if  the  aboriginal  Picts  or  Caledonians,  who  lived  in  the 
country  at  the  time  of  its  conquest,  formed  a  strong  element  of  the  actual 
population  of  the  Scotch  Lowlands.  It  is  believed  that  their  inhabitants  are  for 
the  most  part  of  British  and  Anglo-Saxon  race.  The  line  which  separated  the 
English  from  the  Picts  runs,  no  doubt,  across  the  isthmus  of  the  Clyde  and  Forth  ; 
the  ancient  wall  of  Antoninus  would  thus  have  marked  an  ethnological  frontier  no 
less  than  a  political  one.  But  Saxons,  Angles,  and  Britons  were  compelled  to 
share  their  territory  with  emigrants  of  various  races,  including  the  Scots  of 
Ireland,  Frisians,  Northmen,  and  Danes.     At  some  places,  and  more  especially 

*  Hugh  Miller,  "  The  Bass  Rock  :  its  Civil  and  Ecclesiastical  History." 

t  Kemble,  "Saxons  in  England;"  Latham,  "Ethnology  of  the  British  Islands;"  Murray,  in 
Philologienl  Society's  Transactions,  1873. 


310  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

along  the  coast,  people  of  different  origin  live  in  close  contact  with  each  other,  and 
yet  remain  separate.  Their  blood  has  not  mingled  ;  habits,  customs,  and  modes  of 
thought  and  action  have  remained  distinct.  Along  the  whole  of  the  coast,  on  that 
of  the  German  Ocean  no  less  than  on  that  of  the  Irish  Sea,  we  meet  with  colonies 
of  fishermen,  some  of  whom  claim  descent  from  the  Northmen,  whilst  others 
look  upon  the  Danes  as  their  ancestors.  There  are  even  colonies  which  tradition 
derives  from  Flanders.  Several  of  the  maritime  villages  consist  of  two  portions, 
like  the  towns  on  the  coasts  of  Catalonia,  Liguria,  and  Sicily,  the  upper  part 
being  inhabited  by  Saxon  artisans  and  agriculturists,  whilst  the  lower  part  forms 
the  *'  Marina "  of  Scandinavian  fishermen.  These  various  elements  of  the 
population  have,  however,  become  fused  in  the  greater  part  of  the  country. 
Physically  the  Scotchman  resembles  the  Norwegian,  and  this  is  not  solely  due  to  a 
similarity  of  climate,  but  also  to  the  numerous  unions  between  Scandinavian 
invaders  and  the  daughters  of  the  country.  The  languages  of  the  two  countries 
also  possess  more  features  in  common  than  was  formerly  believed.  The  Scotch 
speak  English  with  a  peculiar  accent,  which  at  once  betrays  their  origin.  Their 
intonation  differs  from  that  of  the  English,  and  they  suppress  certain  consonants 
in  the  middle  and  at  the  end  of  words.  They  still  employ  certain  old  English 
terms,  no  longer  made  use  of  to  the  south  of  the  Tweed,  and,  on  the  strength  of 
this,  patriotic  Scotchmen  claim  to  speak  English  with  greater  purity  than 
their  southern  neighbours.  Amongst  the  many  words  of  foreign  derivation  in 
common  use,  there  are  several  French  ones,  not  only  such  as  were  introduced  by 
the  Normans,  but  also  others  belonging  to  the  time  when  the  two  peoples  were 
faithful  allies,  and  supplied  each  other  with  soldiers. 

The  Scotch  Lowlander  is,  as  a  rule,  of  fair  height,  long-legged,  strongly  built, 
and  without  any  tendency  to  the  obesity  so  common  amongst  his  kinsmen  of  England. 
His  eye  is  ordinarily  brighter  than  that  of  the  Englishman,  and  his  features  more 
regular ;  but  his  cheeks  are  more  prominent,  and  the  leanness  of  the  face  helps 
much  to  accentuate  these  features.  Comparative  inquiries  instituted  by  Forbes  prove 
that  physical  development  is  somewhat  slower  amongst  Scotchmen  than  amongst 
Englishmen ;  the  former  comes  up  to  the  latter  in  height  and  strength  only  at  the 
age  of  nineteen,  but  in  his  ripe  age  he  surpasses  him  to  the  extent  of  about  5 
per  cent,  in  muscular  strength.*  Of  all  the  men  of  Great  Britain  those  of  South- 
western Scotland  are  distinguished  for  their  tall  stature.  The  men  of  Galloway 
average  5  feet  7  inches  in  height,  which  is  superior  to  the  stature  attained  in  any 
other  district  of  the  British  Islands.  The  Lowlander  is  intelligent,  of  remarkable 
sagacity  in  business,  and  persevering  when  once  he  has  determined  upon  accom- 
plishing a  task ;  but  his  prudence  degenerates  into  distrust,  his  thrift  into  avarice. 
There  is  not  a  village  without  one  or  more  banks.  When  abroad  he  seeks  out 
his  fellow-countrymen,  derives  a  pleasure  from  being  useful  to  them,  and  helps 
their  success  in  life  to  the  best  of  his  ability. 

The  achievements  of  Scotch  agriculturists,  who  are  so  little  favoured  by  climate, 
must  appear  marvellous  to  the  peasants  of  Italy  and  of  many  parts  of  France. 
*  Forbes ;  Hugh  Miller,  "  First  Impressions  of  England  and  the  English." 


SOUTHERN  SCOTLAND.  3^^ 

Under  the  fifty-sixth  degree  of  latitude  they  secure  crops  far  more  abundant  than 
those  obtained  from  the  fertile  lands  on  the  Mediterranean,  which  are  900 
miles  nearer  to  the  equator.  Human  labour  and  ingenuity  have  succeeded  in 
acclimatizing  plants  which  hardly  appeared  to  be  suited  to  the  soil  and  climate  of 
Scotland.  About  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century  a  patch  of  wheat  was 
pointed  out  near  Edinburgh  as  a  curiosity,  whilst  now  that  cereal  grows  in  abun- 
dance as  far  north  as  the  Moray  Firth.  And  yet  it  appears  as  if  the  climate  had 
become  colder,  for  it  is  no  longer  possible  to  cultivate  the  poppy  or  tobacco,  as  was 
done  in  the  beginning  of  the  century.  Several  varieties  of  apples,  pears,  and 
prunes,  formerly  in  high  repute,  no  longer  arrive  at  maturity,  and  the  Horticultural 
Societies  have  ceased  offering  prizes  for  these  productions,  because  it  is  no  longer 
possible  to  grow  them  in  the  open  air.  The  manufacturing  triumphs  of  Scotland  have 
been  quite  equal  to  those  achieved  in  agriculture,  and  it  is  on  Scottish  soil  that 
Glasgow,  the  foremost  manufacturing  town  of  the  United  Kingdom,  has  arisen 
with  a  population  greater  than  that  of  either  Manchester,  Leeds,  or  Birmingham. 
Scotland,  through  her  numerous  emigrants  who  live  in  London  and  the  other 
great  towns,  has  also  largely  contributed  towards  the  prosperity  of  England. 
The  hawkers  in  the  English  manufacturing  districts  are  usually  known  as 
"Scotchmen."  The  Scotch  colonists  in  New  Zealand  and  Canada  are  amongst 
the  most  active  and  industrious,  and  the  young  Lowlanders  who  go  out  to 
India  as  Government  officials  are  far  more  numerous  in  proportion  than  those  from 
England. 

The  love  of  education  for  its  own  sake,  and  not  merely  as  a  means  to  an  end, 
is  far  more  widely  spread  in  Scotland  than  in  England.  The  lectures  at  the 
universities  are  attended  with  a  zeal  which  the  students  of  Oxford  or  Cambridge 
seldom  exhibit.  It  is  by  no  means  rare  to  meet  pupils  in  elementary  schools 
who  are  passionately  fond  of  study,  and  the  humble  homes  of  artisans  and 
labourers  frequently  contain  a  select  library  which  would  do  credit  to  a  wealthy 
English  tradesman.  At  the  same  time  there  are  not  wanting  young  men  who 
accelerate  their  studies  in  order  that  they  may  secure  the  certificates  which  form 
their  passport  to  lucrative  employment.  They  work  hard,  no  doubt,  but  they 
strive  not  after  knowledge,  but  for  material  gain.  The  students  of  Edin- 
burgh have  little  time  to  devote  to  those  exercises  of  strength  and  skill  which 
are  so  highly  cultivated  at  Oxford  and  Cambridge.*  By  a  curious  contrast,  these 
Scotchmen,  so  practical  and  full  of  common  sense,  have  an  extraordinary  love  for  the 
supernatural.  They  delight  in  stories  of  terror  and  of  ghosts.  Though  clever 
architects  of  their  own  fortunes,  they  are  yet  fatalists,  and  the  religious  sects 
of  which  most  of  them  are  members  defend  with  singular  fervour  the  doctrine 
of  predestination.  Thousands  amongst  the  peasants,  dressed  in  clerical  black, 
are  veritable  theologians,  and  know  how  to  discuss  the  articles  of  their  faith 
with  a  great  luxury  of  Scripture  texts.  As  Emerson  says,  they  allow  their 
dialectics  to  carry  them  to  the  extremes  of  insanity.  In  no  other  country  of 
the  world  is  the  Sabbath  observed  with  such  rigour  as  in  Scotland.     On  that  day 

*  Demogeot  et  Montucci,  "  De  rEnseigncment  superieur  en  Angleterre  et  en  Ecosse." 


812 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


many  of  the  trains  and  steamers  cease  running,  and  silence  reigns  throughout  the 
land.       There    are    even  landed  proprietors   who   taboo  their  hills  on  that  day, 


Fig.  153.— The  Fikth  of  Clyde. 
From  an  Admiralty  Chart.    Scale  1  :  474,000. 


5   Miles. 


and  if  a   tourist   is  found  wandering  amongst  them  he  is  treated  as  a  reckless 
violator  of  the  proprieties. 


DUMFRIES-KIRKCUDBRIGHT.  313 


Topography. 


Dumfries  is  formed  of  the  dales  of  the  Nith,  Annan,  and  Esk,  which  fall  into 
the  upper  portion  of  Solway  Firth,  and  is  shut  in  by  high  naked  hills  on  the 
land  side,  which  aiford  excellent  pasturage.  Tracts  of  marshy  ground  occur  near 
the  shores  of  the  Solway  Firth,  including  the  Solway  and  the  Locher  Mosses,  but 
these  have  been  drained  and  brought  under  cultivation./ 

The  first  village  we  arrive  at,  on  crossing  the  boundary  river  Esk,  is  Gretna 
Green,  famed  for  its  irregular  Scotch  marriages.  Langholm,  with  a  monument 
to  Sir  John  Malcolm,  is  th^  principal  village  of  Eskdale.  Annan,  a  small 
seaport,  lies  at  the  mouth  of  charming  Annandale.  It  carries  on  a  modest 
coasting  trade  and  a  little  cotton-spinning.  Ascending  the  dale,  we  pass 
Lockerbie,  noted  for  its  sheep  fair,  and  finally  reach  the  picturesque  village  of 
Moffat,  lying  at  the  foot  of  Hart  Fell  (2,651  feet),  and  no  less  noted  for  its 
wild  surroundings  than  for  its  sulphurous  waters.  Crossing  from  Annandale 
into  Nithsdale,  we  pass  the  village  of  Lochmaben,  on  the  side  of  a  small  lake, 
and  the  remains  of  one  of  the  castles  of  Robert  the  Bruce — according  to  some,  his 
birthplace. 

Dumfries,  8  miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  Nith,  but  accessible  with  the  tide  to 
vessels  of  150  tons  burden,  is  the  most  important  town  of  South-western  Scotland, 
and  one  of  its  most  ancient ;  it  engages  in  the  woollen  and  hosiery  trades.  Robert 
Burns  died  here,  and  a  monument  has  been  erected  over  his  grave  in  the  old 
churchyard  of  St.  Michael's.  Below  the  town  are  the  ruins  of  Caerlaverock 
Castle,  at  one  time  a  place  of  great  strength,  and  on  the  other  side  of  the  river,  at 
the  foot  of  the  Crifiel  (1,867  feet),  the  beautiful  remains  of  New  or  Sweetheart 
Abbey.  Nithsdale  is  noted  for  its  picturesque  scenery.  Most  striking  amongst 
its  mansions  is  Drumlanrig  Castle,  a  seat  of  the  Duke  of  Buccleuch.  Quite 
at  the  head  of  the  dale,  amidst  the  Louther  Hills,  are  the  lead  mines  of 
Wanlockhead. 

Kirkcudbright,  formed  out  of  the  eastern  portion  of  the  old  district  of 
Galloway,  lies  between  the  rivers  Nith  and  Cree,  and  is  traversed  in  its  centre  by 
the  Dee,  of  which  the  Ken  is  a  tributary,  and  by  the  much  smaller  Urr  Water. 
Wild  moorlands  occupy  nearly  the  whole  of  it,  and  its  population  is  incon- 
siderable. 

Kirkcudbright,  the  county  town,  on  the  estuary  of  the  Dee,  is  merely  a  village, 
with  a  small  coasting  trade.  At  Dundrennan  Castle,  6  miles  to  the  south-east. 
Queen  Mary  spent  the  night  after  the  fatal  defeat  of  her  troops  at  Langside. 
Castle  Douglas  is  a  neat  town  in  the  valley  of  the  Dee.  Higher  up  the  Dee  expands 
into  two  lakes,  Lochs  Dee  and  Ken,  at  the  head  of  which  is  New  Galloway. 
Gatehouse  of  Fleet  and  Creetown,  the  latter  with  granite  quarries,  are  small 
ports  on  Wigtown  Bay,  to  the  west  of  the  Dee ;  whilst  Dalbeattie,  with  its 
granite  quarries,  and  Kirkpatrick- Durham  are  the  most  notable  villages  on  Urr 
Water. 

117— E 


314 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


Fig.  154. — The  Rhinns  of  Galloway. 
Scale  1  :  100,000. 


Wigtown  consists  of  a  mainland  portion,  filled  with  moorland  hills,  and  of  the 
peninsula,  known  as  the  Ehinns  of  Galloway,  which  is  attached  to  it  by  a  low 
neck  of  land.  The  population  is  sparse  and  decreasing.  Wigtown,  the  capital, 
on  Wigtown  Bay,  is  a  mere  village,  with  a  distillery  and  a  small  coasting  trade. 
Far  more  important,  though  by  no  means  prosperous,  is  Stranraer,  at  the  head  of 
Loch  Ryan.  On  the .  peninsula  itself,  and  within  21  miles  of  the  Irish  coast,  is 
Port  Patrick,  with  an  extensive  harbour,  constructed  at  vast  expense,  but  little 

frequented.  The  only  other  villages 
deserving  mention  are  Glcnluce,  on  Luce 
Bay ;  Garlieston,  on  Wigtown  Bay, 
with  the  principal  seat  of  the  Earl  of 
Galloway ;  and  Whithorn,  farther  to  the 
south,  with  the  ruins  of  a  cathedral 
founded  by  St.  Mnian,  the  apostle  of 
the  Picts. 

Ayrshire  borders  upon  the  Firth  of 
Clyde,  into  which  flow  the  Garnock, 
Irvine,  Ayr,  Doon,  and  other  rivers 
rising  on  the  enclosing  hill  ranges.  The 
county  consists  of  three  well-defined 
districts.  Carrick,  in  the  south,  is  a  wild 
and  desolate  moorland  region  stretching 
up  to  Mount  Merrick  (2,764  feet)  ;  Kyle, 
in  the  centre,  drained  by  Ayr  Water, 
lies  within  a  productive  coal  basin; 
and  Cunningham,  in  the  north,  is  a 
region  of  hills,  extending  to  the  crest 
of  the  upland  which  separates  the 
county  from  Renfrewshire.  Whilst 
Carrick  supports  but  a  small  population, 
the  northern  part  of  the  county,  with  its 
collieries  and  iron  works,  its  textile 
factories  and  engineering  shops,  is  one 
of  the  most  densely  peopled  parts  of 
Scotland. 

Girvan,  on  a  fine  bay  near  the  mouth  of  Girvan  Water,  is  the  principal  port 
of  Carrick.  On  the  bold  coast  between  it  and  the  mouth  of  the  Doon  stand  the 
ruins  of  Turnberry  and  Dunure  Castles,  and  the  magnificent  mansion  of  Colzean. 
The  Doon  rises  in  a  lake  of  the  same  name,  on  issuing  from  which  it  flows  through 
the  iron  and  coal  mining  district  of  DalmelUngton.  Mayhole,  a  small  country 
town,  lies  in  a  side  valley,  and  the  river  enters  the  sea  below  the  village  of  Kirk 
AUoicay,  the  birthplace  of  Robert  Burns.  Ayr,  the  capital  of  the  county,  lies  only 
a  few  miles  farther  north,  at  the  mouth  of  Ayr  Water,  whose  harbour  is  acces- 
sible to  small  vessels.      It  is  a  handsome  town,  with  numerous  villas,  and  its  river 


0  to  14  14  to  28  28  to  55  Over  55 

"Fathoms.  Fathoms.         Fathoms.        Fathoms. 


5  Miles. 


BUTE-LANARKSHIRE.  315 

is  spanned  by  "  twa  brigs."  The  whole  of  this  region  will  for  ever  be  associated 
with  the  memory  of  Burns.  At  TarhoUon,  a  few  miles  up  the  Ayr,  the  poet 
established  his  Bachelors'  Club  in  1780,  and  wooed  his  "  Highland  Mary,"  in 
service  as  a  dairymaid  at  a  neighbouring  mansion.  Stiil  ascending  the  Ayr, 
we  pass  Catrine,  a  manufacturing  village,  and  reach  Mauchline  and  Muirkirk, 
where  there  are  collieries,  iron  works,  and  limestone  quarries.  Lugar  and 
Cumnock,  both  on  the  Lugar,  a  tributary  of  the  Ayr,  are  engaged  in  the  same 
industries. 

Troon,  about  half-way  between  Ayr  and  Irvine,  has  a  well- sheltered  harbour, 
and  is  the  busiest  port  of  Ayr,  shipping  large  quantities  of  coal.  The  river 
Irvine  traverses  the  principal  manufacturing  district  of  the  county,  whose  natural 
outlet  is  Irvine,  near  the  mouth  of  the  river.  Kilmarnock,  the  largest  town  of  the 
county,  manufactures  carpets,  shawls,  cottons,  worsted,  Scotch  bonnets,  machinery, 
and  boots.  The  manufacturing  villages  of  Hurlford,  Galston,  Newmilns,  and  Darvel, 
on  the  Upper  Irvine,  and  Stewarton,  to  the  north,  are  its  dependencies.  Kihcinning 
with  Stevenston,  Dairy,  Kilhirnie,  and  Beith,  in  the  valley  of  the  Garnock,  are  towns 
of  collieries  and  iron  works.  Three  seaside  towns  on  the  northern  coast  of 
Ayrshire  remain  to  be  noticed.  They  are  Saltcoats,  with  salt  and  magnesia  works ; 
Ardrossan,  with  iron  works  and  collieries ;  and  Largs,  much  frequented  as  a 
watering-place. 

The  shire  of  Bute  includes  the  islands  of  Bute,  Arran,  and  Great  and  Little 
Cumbrae,  in  the  Firth  of  Clyde.  By  geological  structure  these  islands  belong 
as  much  to  the  Highlands  as  to  the  Lowlands,  and  nearly  40  per  cent,  of  the 
inhabitants  are  still  able  to  converse  in  Gaelic,  although  hardly  any  are  ignorant 
of  English.  Rothesay,  the  county  town,  is  in  Bute,  as  are  also  the  villages  of 
Millport  and  Kameshiirgh  {Port  Bannatyne) ;  whilst  Lamlash  is  the  principal  village 
in  Arran,  with  a  harbour  not  to  be  surpassed  on  the  Clyde. 

Lanarkshire  lies  almost  wholly  within  the  basin  of  the  Clyde,  which,  though 
inferior  to  the  Tay  and  Tweed,  has  gathered  within  the  area  it  drains  nearly  a 
third  of  the  total  population  of  Scotland.  The  river  rises  far  to  the  south,  its 
head-streams  being  fed  by  the  rain  which  descends  upon  Hart  Fell  (2,651  feet), 
Queensberry  Hill  (2,285  feet),  and  the  Louther  Hills  (2,403  feet).  In  its  upper 
course  it  traverses  a  region  of  sterile  moorlands,  within  which  lies  Leadhills.  Near 
Biggar,  on  a  stream  which  finds  its  way  into  the  Tweed,  the  Clyde  sweeps  abruptly 
round  to  the  north-westward,  and  on  approaching  Lanark  it  leaps  down  a  succession 
of  linns  into  the  great  agricultural  and  mining  region  of  the  county.  The  beautiful 
country  around  Lanark  is  one  of  the  most  famous  in  the  history  of  Scotland,  for  it  was 
here  that  the  Scottish  hero,  Wallace,  commenced  his  career.  Here,  too,  at  the 
neighbouring  village  of  Neic  Lanark,  was  founded  the  cotton-mill  in  which 
Robert  Owen  worked  out  his  plans  for  the  social  regeneration  of  mankind. 
Between  Lanark  and  Glasgow  the  river  traverses  the  principal  mineral  region  of 
Scotland.  Its  "  black  band "  ironstone,  containing  coaly  matter  sufficient  to 
calcine  the  adjacent  ore  without  any  addition  of  artificial  fuel,  has  been  a  source 
of  wealth  to  Scotch  iron-masters,  and  enabled  them  to  construct  the  sumptuous 


816  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

mansions  dotted  over  the  country.  These  products  have  caused  the  villages 
of  this  district  to  expand  into  populous  towns,  but  it  is  only  fair  to  observe  that 
hardly  one  amongst  them  possesses  other  sources  of  attraction  than  collieries  and 
iron  works.  Foremost  amongst  the  towns  to  the  east  of  the  Clyde  are  Carluke, 
Wishaic  with  Cainhusnethan,  Motherwell,  Holytoivn,  BellsJull,  and  Calderbank,  in  the 
valley  of  the  Calder ;  Airdrie,  Coatbridge,  Gartsherrie,  Rosehall,  and  Tollcross,  in 
the  northern  part  of  the  county.  Far  more  inviting  than  either  of  these  is 
Hamilton,  at  the  confluence  of  the  Avon  with  the  Clyde,  with  the  sumptuous 
palace  of  its  duke  abounding  in  costly  works  of  art,  and  its  noble  chase,  in  which 
a  remnant  of  the  breed  of  Scottish  wild  cattle  still  browse.  The  staple  trades  of 
Hamilton  are  hand-loom  weaving  and  tambouring  ;  but  Larkhall,  Motherwell,  and 
other  coal  and  iron  mining  villages  are  in  its  neighbourhood,  and  at  night  the 
horizon  is  illumined  with  the  fires  of  numerous  smelting  works.  The  Avon  flows 
past  Strathavon  and  Stonehouse,  and  near  it  is  the  famous  Drumclog,  where  the 
Covenanters  beat  Claverhouse  in  1679,  only  to  meet  a  disastrous  defeat  soon  after- 
wards at  Bothwell  Bridge,  2  miles  below  Hamilton,  and  near  the  picturesque 
ruins  of  Bothwell  Castle.  In  its  onward  course  the  Clyde  flows  past  the  manu- 
facturing villages  of  Camhuslang  and  Riitherglen,  whose  swelling  heights  are  crowned 
with  the  villas  of  the  wealthy  merchants  and  manufacturers  of  Glasgow. 

This  town,  though  more  populous  than  any  other  in  Scotland,  and  ranking 
immediately  after  London,  is  not  even  the  capital  of  a  county.  Glasgow,  as 
early  as  the  fifteenth  century,  had  14,000  inhabitants,  but  its  distance  from 
the  sea  and  the  small  depth  of  the  Clyde  stunted  its  growth.  At  the  time 
of  the  union  the  port  of  the  Clyde,  now  so  prodigiously  busy,  had  hardly  any 
commerce  with  foreign  countries.  Its  position  on  the  western  coast  precluded 
it  from  competing  with  the  towns  of  England  in  their  trafiic  with  continental 
Europe,  and  the  English  colonies  were  at  that  time  closed  against  her  merchants. 
But  no  sooner  had  the  Act  of  Union  placed  Glasgow  and  Greenock  on  the  footing 
of  English  ports  than  they  endeavoured  to  secure  their  share  in  the  commerce  with 
America.  They  imported  more  especially  the  tobacco  of  Virginia  and  Maryland, 
and  when  they  lost  their  monopoly  in  this  branch  of  commerce,  other  industries 
had  been  created,  and  Glasgow  increased  rapidly  in  population.  In  1801  it  had 
already  80,000  inhabitants,  and  the  increase  since  then  has  been  enormous. 
Unfortunately  this  increase  is  entirely  due  to  immigration,  and  not  to  an  excess 
of  births;  for  though  Glasgow  rejoices  in  the  possession  of  magnificent  parks, 
its  death  rate  exceeds  that  of  Bombay  and  Calcutta.  The  crowds  of  half-famished 
immigrants  are  so  great,  and  the  dens  they  inhabit  are  so  unwholesome,  that  death 
reaps  a  more  abundant  harvest  here  than  in  most  of  the  other  great  cities  of  the 
world.  Irishmen  without  work,  and  numerous  immigrants  from  the  Highlands, 
furnish  fresh  food  to  succeeding  epidemics,  and  the  narrow  wynds  are  the 
permanent  abodes  of  consumption  and  fever.  Yet  between  1866  and  1876  more 
than  31,000  persons  were  driven  from  the  most  crowded  parts  of  the  city  in 
consequence  of  the  opening  of  new  thoroughfares. 

The  150,000  houses  of  the  town   extend  along  both  banks  of  the  Clyde,  but 


LANARKSHIRE. 


317 


the  principal  quarters  and  nearly  all  the  public  buildings  are  to  the  north 
of  the  river.  The  cathedral,  with  its  beautiful  Gothic  crypt,  is,  with  the 
exception  of  a  church  in  the  Orkneys,  the  only  Catholic  place  of  worship  in 
Scotland  which  escaped  destruction  at  the  time  of  the  Reformation.  The  order 
to  wreck  it  had  been  given ;  but  the  citizens,  proud  of  their  old  church,  resisted 
the   iconoclastic    zeal   of  the   Calvinistic    ministers.       In   the   necropolis  at   the 


Fig.  155.  — Glasgow. 
Scale  1  :  70,000. 


IMUe. 


back  of  the  cathedral  has  been  placed  a  conspicuous  column  in  memory  of  John 
Knox.  This  venerable  pile  now  stands  near  the  eastern  verge  of  the  city,  which 
has  not  grown  up  around  it,  but  spread  to  the  westward,  in  the  direction  of 
the  sea. 

The  old  university,  founded  in  the  fifteenth  century,  has  recently  been 
transferred  from  its  ancient  site  in  the  east  of  the  city  to  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  West-end  Park,  and  its  showy  buildings   occupy  a  magnificent  position 


318  THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 

on  the  top  of  Gilmore  Hill.  Amongst  its  many  collections  that  bequeathed  by 
Dr.  Hunter,  the  famous  surgeon,  is  the  most  valuable.  Hardly  inferior  in  its 
museums  and  chemical  laboratories  is  the  so-called  Andersonian  University,  which 
is  at  once  a  mechanics'  institution  and  a  school  of  science,  whose  evening  classes 
are  attended  by  thousands  of  students.  By  a  curious  clause  in  his  will,  the 
founder  of  this  noble  institution  determined  that  it  should  be  governed  by  nine 
times  nine  curators,  of  whom  nine  must  be  Andersons.  George  Square,  with 
statues  of  Sir  Walter  Scott  and  other  Scotch  worthies,  is  the  principal  open 
space  of  the  city,  whilst  Argyle  Street,  with  its  eastern  continuation,  Trongate, 
is  the  chief  street. 

Glasgow  is,  above  all,  an  industrial  city,  and  of  its  buildings  none  attain  a 
higher  elevation  than  the  chimneys  of  some  of  the  great  chemical  works,  which 
have  not  their  equal  in  the  world.  Its  industry  is  remarkable  for  its  variety.  The 
Scotch  town  spins  cotton  like  Manchester,  weaves  silk  like  Macclesfield,  makes 
cloth  like  Leeds  and  Halifax,  manufactures  jute  like  Dundee,  builds  ships  like 
Middlesbrough,  and  has  metal  works,  glass  houses,  and  potteries  like  Birmingham, 
Newcastle,  and  Worcester.  And  in  all  these  branches  of  manufacture  it 
holds  a  foremost  place.  Far  above  100,000  operatives  find  employment  in  its 
three  or  four  thousand  factories. 

The  commerce  of  Glasgow  is  in  proportion  to  its  industry.  The  six  lines  of 
railway  which  converge  upon  it  place  it  in  communication  with  every  part  of  the 
kingdom.  As  to  its  harbour,  it  includes  the  whole  of  the  Lower  Clyde,  from  the 
Glasgow  Bridge,  above  the  Broomielaw,  to  Greenock,  a  distance  of  20  miles. 
The  Clyde  at  Glasgow  is  scarcely  400  feet  wide,  and  we  marvel  at  the  enterprise 
which  converted  a  river  of  such  small  volume  into  one  of  the  great  ports  of  the 
world.  Formerly,  before  the  Clyde  had  been  confined  within  embankments,  it 
spread  with  each  tide  over  the  adjoining  marshes,  and  at  low  water  was  obstructed 
by  sand-banks,  which  rendered  its  navigation  impossible  to  all  but  barges.  At 
that  time  oxen  were  driven  across  it  from  Dumbarton  into  Renfrewshire,  and  sea- 
going vessels  were  obliged  to  discharge  their  cargoes  18  miles  below  Glasgow.  In 
1653  the  merchants  of  Glasgow,  despairing  of  ever  being  able  to  convert  the 
Clyde  into  a  navigable  river,  determined  to  establish  their  port  at  Dumbarton ; 
but  the  citizens  of  that  old  town  declined  the  ofier,  for  fear  that  the  bustle 
of  commerce  and  industry  might  interfere  with  their  traditional  customs.* 
Glasgow  thus  seemed  to  be  condemned  to  remain  an  inland  city,  but  it 
determined  at  least  to  have  an  outport  of  its  own,  and  with  that  view,  in  1662, 
excavated  docks,  and  erected  the  warehouses  at  Port  Glasgow,  on  the  southern 
bank  of  the  Clyde. 

At  the  same  time  the  works  for  deepening  the  Clyde  were  continued,  and  in 
1718  the  first  vessel  of  60  tons  burden  left  Glasgow  for  North  America.  Greenock, 
more  favourably  situated,  likewise  traded  with  America,  and  during  the 
whole  of  the  eighteenth  century  it  was  a  question  which  of  the  two  towns 
would  prevail  in  the  end.  But  owing  to  the  labours  of  Smeaton,  Watt,  and 
*  Geo.  Dodd,  "  The  Land  we  Live  In;  "  Ch.  Dupin,  "  Voyage  dans  la  Grande  Bretagne." 


RENFEEWSHIEE.  3^9 

other  engineers  the  city  more  distant  from  the  sea  gained  the  victory,  and 
became  the  great  emporium  of  the  Clyde.  By  1875  the  Lower  Clyde  had 
been  completely  embanked,  and  its  depth  at  low  water  was  nowhere  less  than 
8  feet.  Since  that  time  the  persevering  work  of  powerful  dredging  machines 
has  almost  trebled  the  depth,  and  vessels  of  1,000  tons  can  at  all  times  lie 
at  the  side  of  the  quays  of  Broomielaw.  The  Clyde  was  the  first  river 
regularly  navigated  by  steam- vessels.  This  happened  in  1812,  and  six  years 
later  a  line  of  steamers  had  been  established  between  Greenock  and  Ireland. 
At  the  present  time  Glasgow  communicates  with  every  part  of  the  world, 
and  the  Clyde  ports  only  yield  in  activity  to  those  of  the  Thames,  the 
Mersej^,  and  the  Tyne.  It  has  been  noticed  that  gulls  have  become  more 
numerous  in  the  valley  of  the  Clyde  since  Glasgow  has  grown  into  a  great 
maritime  port,  and  it  is  evident  that  these  birds  follow  in  the  wake  of 
vessels. 

Govan  and  Fartick,  on  the  Clyde,  below  Glasgow,  have  ship- yards  and  print 
works.    Maryhiil,  to  the  north-west,  is  a  small  manufacturing  town. 

Renfrewshire  occupies  the  low-lying  land  on  the  southern  bank  of  the  Clyde 
below  Glasgow,  and  extends  upwards  from  the  river  bank  to  the  crest  of  a  ridge 
formed  of  igneous  rock,  which  separates  it  from  Ayrshire,  and  attains  a  height  of 
1,700  feet.  The  country  possesses  iron  and  coal,  and  its  dense  population  is 
engaged  in  building  iron  ships  and  machinery,  cotton-spinning  and  other  textile 
industries,  iron-founding,  and  sugar  refining. 

Renfreiv,  the  county  town,  on  the  Cart,  not  far  from  its  mouth  into  the 
Clyde,  is  now  a  place  of  little  note,  having  been  long  since  outstripped  by  its 
neighbour  Paisley,  2  miles  above,  which  manufactures  cotton,  woollens,  tartans, 
thread,  shawls,  and  machinery.  Still  higher  up  in  the  valley  of  the  Cart,  which 
for  a  considerable  portion  of  its  course  runs  parallel  with  the  Clyde,  are  the 
smaller  manufacturing  towns  of  Pollockshmvs,  Thornliehank,  Bushy,  and  Eagles- 
ham.  Barrhead  and  Neilston,  on  Leven  "Water,  a  tributary  of  the  Cart,  are 
engaged  in  the  cotton  and  linen  trades.  The  alum  works  of  Hurlet  are  near 
the  former,  and  both  have  collieries  and  iron  mines.  Johnstone  and  Kilbar- 
chan,  on  the  Black  Cart,  are  dependencies  of  Paisley,  with  collieries  in  their 
neighbourhood. 

Port  Glasgow  was  founded  by  the  merchants  of  Glasgow,  but  since  the 
deepening  of  the  river  has  much  declined  in  importance,  though  still  a  bust- 
ling port,  with  ship-yards  and  other  manufactures.  Greenock,  its  neighbour, 
though  only  provided  with  a  harbour  in  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth 
century,  has  become  one  of  the  great  towns  of  Scotland,  where  the  construc- 
tion of  iron  steam- vessels  is  carried  on  to  a  great  extent,  besides  which  there 
are  sugar  refineries,  foundries,  potteries,  and  jute  and  worsted  factories.  James 
Watt,  the  improver  of  the  steam-engine,  was  born  at  Greenock,  and  a  marble 
statue  has  been  raised  to  his  memory.  Gourock,  beautifully  situated  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Clyde  (which 'is  defended  by  Fort  Matilda),  is  much  frequented  as  a 
watering-place. 


820 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


Dumbartonshire  includes  a  lowland  tract  along  the  north  bank  of  the  Clyde, 
and  a  Highland  region  shut  in  between  Loch  Long  and  Loch  Lomond,  which  rises 
in  Ben  Vorlich,  near  the  head  of  the  lake,  to  a  height  of  3,091  feet.  Descending 
the  Clyde  below  Glasgow,  we  pass  Dunglass  Point,  where  the  Roman  wall 
terminated,  and  which  is  surmounted  by  the  ruins  of  a  castle,  and  an  obelisk 
erected  in  memory  of  Henry  Bell,  the  introducer  of  steam  navigation.     A  few 


Fig.  156.— Greenock  and  Helensburgh. 
Scale  1  :  100,000. 


Fareshore.      Depth  0  to  2| 
Fathoms. 


1  Mile. 


miles  below,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Leven,  is  the  two-peaked  basaltic  rock  of  the 
famous  city  of  Dumbarton,  the  ancient  capital  of  the  kingdom  of  Strathclyde. 
Dumbarton,  owing  to  its  commanding  position,  has  ever  played  an  important  part 
in  military  history.  The  Cumbrians  called  it  Al-Cluyd,  whilst  the  Scotch  gave 
it  the  name  of  Dun-Breton,  and  that  name,  slightly  modified,  it  has  retained  to  the 
present  day.     It  is  the  Balclutha  of  Ossian's  poems.     The  castle  which  crowns  the 


DUMBARTONSHIRE. 


321 


Fig.  157.— Dumbarton. 
Scale  1  :  25.000. 


rock  encloses  remains  of  mediaBval  structures,  and  even  a  few  bits  of  Roman 
masonry.  In  accordance  with  the  treaty  of  union  between  England  and  Scotland, 
this  ancient  residence  of  Robert 
the  Bruce,  Mary  Stuart, 
Charles  I.,  and  Cromwell  is 
to  be  maintained  for  ever  as  a 
place  of  defence,  Dumbarton 
engages  extensively  in  the  con- 
struction of  iron  ships,  besides 
which  it  is  a  great  resort  of 
tourists  bent  upon  a  visit  to 
the  beautiful  scenery  of  Loch 
Lomond.  The  Leven,  which 
drains  that  lake,  flows  past 
Balloch,  Alexandria,  Bonhill, 
and  Renton,  all  of  which  en- 
gage in  cotton  bleaching  and 
dyeing,  or  have  print  works. 
Luss,  a  village  on  the  western 
shore  of  Loch  Lomond,  has 
slate  quarries,  and  the  fishing 
village  of  Arrochnr,  farther 
north,  marks  the  present 
southern  limit  of  Gaelic. 

Cardross,  below  Dumbar- 
ton, is  noteworthy  as  the  place 
where  Robert  Bruce  died. 
Almost  immediately  after- 
wards we  reach  Helensburgh,  a 
flourishing  watering-place  near 
the  mouth  of  Gare  Loch,  only 
founded  in  1777,  opposite  to 
which  rises  the  wooded  emi- 
nence of  Roseneath,  with  a 
mansion  of  the  Duke  of  Argyll. 

Kirkintilloch  is  the  princi- 
pal place  in  a  detached  portion 
of  the  county,  which  adjoins 
Lanarkshire     in    the     north. 


55-1  '^^mjm^^^.imm^Mrf^ 


W.of  G. 


4'-34 


Collieries  are  in  its  neighbour- 
hood. 


Depth  under 
2  Fathoms 


Over  2 
Fathoms. 

Half  a  Mile. 


The  basin  of  the  Tweed,  though  far  more  extensive  than  that  of  the  Clyde,  and 
not  without  tracts  of  fertile  land,  is  nevertheless  but  sparsely  peopled  ;  most  of 
its  towns  are  mere  villages,  and  only  two  amongst  them  have  over  10,000  inhabitants. 


822 


THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 


Peebles,  which  occupies  the  upper  basin  of  the  Tweed,  its  boundaries  coinciding 
nearly  with  those  of  the  ancient  district  of  Tweeddale,  is  for  the  most  part 
a  wild  pastoral  region,  sloping  northward  from  the  Hart  Fell,  but  communi- 
cating on  the  west,  through  the  curious  breach  of  Biggar,  with  the  valley  of  the 
Clyde.  Peebles,  the  county  town,  is  but  a  small  place  with  some  woollen  trade. 
Innerleithen^  a  village  at  the  confluence  of  Leithen  Water  with  the  Tweed,  has 
mineral  springs. 

Selkirk  is  traversed  by  the  Tweed  in  the  north,  whilst  the  bulk  of  the  shire 
lies  within  Ettrickdale  and  Yarrowdale — the  one  drained  by  a  •'  water  "  thrown 
off  from  Ettrick  Pen  (2,269  feet),  the  other  by  a  stream  descending  from  St. 
Mary's  Loch.  Selkirk,  the  county  town,  has  been  famous  for  centuries  for  the 
manufacture  of  single-soled  shoes,   and  woollen-mills    have  lately  been  erected 


Fig.  158. 


-Galashiels  and  Melrose. 
Scale  1  :  238.000. 


1  Mile. 


along  the  banks  of  the  Ettrick.  In  the  neighbouring  dale  of  the  Yarrow  are  the 
ruins  of  "  Newark's  stately  tower,"  and  the  farm  of  Foulshiels,  where  Mungo 
Park  was  born. 

Galashiels,  near  the  confluence  of  the  Gala  with  the  Tweed,  and  on  the  borders 
of  Roxburghshire,  is,  with  Hawick,  the  great  manufacturing  town  of  the  valley  of 
the  Tweed,  and  one  of  the  principal  seats  of  the  woollen  and  hosiery  trades,  being 
known  more  especially  for  its  tartans  and  "  tweeds." 

Roxburgh  extends  southward  from  the  Tweed  to  the  Cheviot  Hills,  which 
separate  it  from  Northumberland,  and  reaches  in  the  south-west  beyond  the 
uplands  connecting  the  Cheviots  with  the  more  central  hills  of  the  Lowlands 
into  the  valley  of  the  Liddel,  which  is  tributary  to  the  Tees,  and  through 
it  .to  the  Sol  way  Firth.  The  south-western  part  of  the  county  forms  the 
district  of  Liddisdale,  whilst  the  main  portion,  sinking  down  towards  the  Tweed, 


BERWICKSHIRE. 


323 


is  known  as  Teviotdale.  Roxburgh,  which  derives  its  name  from  a  royal  castle 
on  the  Lower  Teviot,  now  in  ruins,  is  largely  engaged  in  the  woollen  and  hosiery 
trades.  Crowds  of  visitors  are  annually  attracted  to  it  because  of  its  association 
with  Sir  Walter  Scott,  and  of  the  numerous  ruins  of  ecclesiastical  buildings  which 
he  has  rendered  famous.  Abbotsford,  the  residence  of  the  poet,  stands  on  the 
wooded  bank  of  the  Tweed,  which  there  forms  the  western  boundary  of  the 
county.  Melrose  Abbey  and  Dryburgh  Abbey,  both  jn  ruins,  are  on  the  same 
river,  but  lower  down.  Kelso,  on  the  northern  bank  of  the  Tweed,  and  opposite 
the  mouth  of  the  Teviot,  occupies  a  site  of  singular  beauty.  It,  too,  has  the 
remains  of  a  stately  abbey,  overtopping,  even  in  its  ruined  condition,  all  the  houses 
around  it. 

Jedburgh,  the  county  town,  lies  in  the  well-sheltered  valley  of  the  Jed,  which 


Fig.  159.— Hawigk. 

Scale  1  :  90,000. 


Q-50- 


Q-^S' 


iMUe. 


is  tributary  to  the  Teviot,  and  whose  mild  climate  ripens  fruit  which  elsewhere 
in  Scotland  does  not  attain  to  maturity.  It  is  a  place  of  great  antiquity,  but  its 
castle  and  turreted  walls  did  not  shield  it  from  being  repeatedly  burnt  and  pillaged 
by  English  invaders.  The  ruins  of  its  abbey  are  imposing  even  in  their  decay. 
Sir  David  Brewster  and  Mrs.  Somerville  were  born  at  Jedburgh.  *•  Jethart 
Justice "  became  proverbial  during  the  border  wars,  when  it  was  applied  to 
marauders  who  were  hanged  first  and  tried  afterwards.  Hawick  is  a  thriving 
manufacturing  town  on  the  Teviot. 

Berwickshire  is  a  maritime  county  to  the  north  of  the  Tweed,  which,  in 
addition  to  the  fruitful  plain  of  the  Merse,  and  the  valleys  of  the  Lauder  and 
the  Black  and  White  Adder,  includes  the  southern  slopes  of  the  Lammermuir 
Hills  and  a  small  district  along  the  cliff-bound  coast. 


324 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


Berwick-on-Tweed  having  been  severed  from  the  county  and  attached  to 
England,  there  is  not  a  single  large  town.  At  Coldstream,  on  the  Tweed,  General 
Monk,  in  1660,  raised  the  regiment  still  called  the  Coldstream  Guards.  Earkton 
and  Lauder  are  villages  in  Lauderdale.  Chernside,  near  the  confluence  of  the 
two  Adders,  is  the  birthplace  of  David  Hume.  Lunse,  the  largest  town  in  the 
county,  though  its  population  numbers  less  than  3,000  souls,  is  engaged  in  hand- 
loom  weaving ;  whilst  Greenlaw,  on  the  Black  Adder,  though  the  county  town,  is 
merely  a  small  village  with  a  fine  county  hall  and  gaol.    Eyemouth,  the  only  seaport 


Fig.   160. — FiRTK    OF    FOKTH. 
Scale  1  :  177,000. 


2  Miles. 


of  the  county,  engages  in  the  herring  fishery.  The  coast  to  the  north  of  it  is 
exceedingly  wild.  Two  of  its  promontories  are  occupied  by  the  lighthouse  of 
St.  Abb's  Head,  and  by  Fast  Castle,  described  as  Wolfs  Crag  in  the  "Bride 
of  Lammermuir  "  The  ravine  of  the  Pease,  or  Peaths,  descending  to  the  coast, 
is  spanned  by  a  singular  bridge. 

The  three  counties  which  lie  along  the  southern  coast  of  the  Firth  of  Forth 
have  been  carved  out  of  the  ancient  district  of  Lothian,  and  are  hence  still 
frequently  described  as  East,  Mid,  and  West  Lothian. 


Scale      1 :  290,000  .         SovmdingS  ni  FaihojoiS 


EDINBURGH  At 


HADDINGTON— EDINBURGH.  825 

Haddington,  or  East  Lothian,  consists  in  the  main  of  a  fertile  lowland,  above 
which  rise  a  few  detached  groups  of  hills,  and  which  is  bounded  on  the  south  by 
the  Lammermuir  Hills  (1,732  feet).  The  Tyne  Water  crosses  the  lower  part  of 
the  county  from  west  to  east.  The  coast,  with  its  bold  cliffs  interrupted  by  sandy 
bays,  is  perilous.     No  part  of  Scotland  surpasses  this  county  in  its  agriculture. 

Haddington,  the  county  town,  on  the  Tyne  and  at  the  foot  of  Gareton  Hill,  is  one 
of  the  principal  grain  markets  in  Scotland.  Rape-seed  cakes  and  bone  manure  are 
manufactured.  The  fine  old  Gothic  church,  the  **  lamp  of  Lothian  "  of  other  days 
because  of  its  beauty,  is  now  in  ruins.  Gifford,  the  birthplace  of  John  Knox,  lies 
to  the  south.  Dunbar,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Tyne,  with  a  harbour  difficult  of 
access,  is  one  of  the  principal  seats  of  the  herring  fishery.  Its  dismantled  castle, 
on  a  jutting  rock  perpetually  gnawed  by  the  sea,  is  famous  for  its  gallant  defence 
by  "Black  Agnes,"  the  Countess  of  March.  Two  battles  were  fought  near 
Dunbar  in  1296  and  1650,  and  in  both  the  Scots  were  routed.  North  Berwick  has 
become  the  most  fashionable  watering-place  on  the  east  coast  of  Scotland,  but 
engages  also  in  the  herring  fishery.  Near  it,  on  a  bold  clifi*  half  surrounded  by 
the  sea,  stands  Tantallon  Castle,  and  2  miles  from  the  shore  rises  Bass  Rock, 
covered  with  sea-fowl.  In  the  western  part  of  the  county  are  Cockenzie,  a  fishing 
village;  Frestonpans,  with  a  famous  brewery,  and  noteworthy,  moreover,  on 
account  of  the  battle  fought  in  its  neighbourhood  in  1745  ;  and  the  market  town 
of  Tranent,  whose  inhabitants  engage  in  the  manufacture  of  silk,  and  near  which 
are  a  few  collieries. 

The  county  of  Edinburgh,  or  Mid-Lothian,  extends  southward  from  the 
Forth  on  either  side  of  the  sterile  Pentland  Hills,  which  occupy  its  centre  and 
terminate  only  in  Arthur's  Seat  and  the  Castle  Hill  of  Edinburgh.  The  fertile 
valley  of  the  L^pper  Esk  separates  the  Pentland  from  the  Moorfoot  Hills,  and 
between  these  latter  and  the  Lammermuir  Hills,  on  the  borders  of  Berwick,  a  pass 
790  feet  in  height  leads  into  the  valley  of  the  Gala,  which  is  tributary  to  the 
Tweed.  The  Water  of  Leith  drains  the  western  portion  of  the  county,  and  the 
river  Almond  forms  the  boundary  towards  East  Lothian.  Agriculture  is  carried 
on  with  care  and  success,  but  the  inhabitants  possess  also  other  resources  in  their 
collieries,  shipping  trade,  and  various  manufactures. 

Edinburgh,  the  capital  of  Scotland,  may  certainly  claim  to  take  a  place  amongst 
the  beautiful  cities  of  Europe.  It  possesses,  above  all,  what  most  of  the  towns  of 
England  are  deficient  in — originality.  It  is  one  of  those  rare  places  whose  site 
would  become  picturesque  country  if  all  the  houses  were  to  be  suddenly  swept 
away.  Edinburgh  is  unique  in  the  natural  beauty  of  its  position,  and  the  art 
with  which  its  inhabitants  have  availed  themselves  of  the  inequalities  of  the 
ground  in  erecting  their  monuments  and  laying  out  their  gardens.  Moreover, 
Hke  Glasgow,  it  enjoys  the  advantage  of  being  built  of  stone  and  marble,  the 
neighbouring  quarries  of  Craigleith  and  Corstorphine  having  supplied  the 
material  required  by  its  builders.  In  poetical  language  Edinburgh  is  called 
**Dunedin,"  while  one  of  its  vulgar  epithets  is  "Auld  Reekie.'' 

In  the  eastern  part  of  the  plain  through  which  the  Water  of  Leith  takes  its 


326  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

devious  course  there  rises  a  rock  of  basalt,  forming  a  bold  scarp  to  the  east 
but  sinking  down  gently  towards  the  west.  A  picturesque  castle  of  irregular 
shape,  and  formed  of  groups  of  buildings  erected  in  the  course  of  ten  centuries, 
occupies  the  western  brow  of  this  rock,  whilst  at  its  foot  rises  the  old  palace  of 
Holyrood,  with  its  crenellated  towers  and  the  ruins  of  its  abbey.  Between  castle 
and  palace,  on  both  slopes  of  the  hill,  the  old  town  of  Edinburgh  has  been  built, 
its  houses  rising,  according  to  the  nature  of  the  ground,  to  a  height  of  seven  or 
eight  floors.  This  site,  however,  soon  proved  too  small  for  the  growing  city, 
which  invaded  the  valley  to  the  south  of  the  castle,  and  climbed  the  slopes  beyond. 
Later  still,  during  the  second  half  of  the  eighteenth  century,  it  overflowed  the 
narrow  ravine  to  the  north,  and  sumptuous  dwellings  arose  upon  a  third  hill, 
which  slopes  gently  down  in  the  west  and  north  in  the  direction  of  the  Water  of 
Leith  and  the  sea.  Bridges  joined  the  new  quarters  in  the  north  and  south  to  the 
old  town,  whilst  beautiful  gardens,  ornamented  with  statues,  occupy  the  vacant 
spaces  and  the  ravine,  formerly  the  abode  of  a  pestilential  swamp.  Calton  Hill, 
already  surrounded  by  houses,  and  Arthur's  Seat  (822  feet),  both  to  the  east,  afibrd 
excellent  views  of  the  city  with  its  public  buildings  and  gardens,  of  the  fertile 
country  around  it,  its  ports  and  jetties  on  the  Firth  of  Forth,  and  of  distant 
mountains  as  far  as  Ben  Lomond.  At  the  present  day  unbroken  avenues  of  houses 
join  Edinburgh  to  Leith,  itg  principal  port,  as  well  as  to  the  minor  ports  of 
Newhaven  and  Granton ;  but  there  w^as  a  time  when  an  uninhabited  plain 
separated  it  from  the  sea.  This  was  a  feature  which  it  had  in  common  with 
Athens.  The  citizens  of  Edinburgh  could  therefore  talk  about  their  Piraeus  and 
Acropolis  ;  and  indeed,  looking  to  the  many  great  men  whom  the  capital  of 
Scotland  has  produced,  no  other  town  has  equal  claims  upon  the  epithet  of 
"  Athens  of  the  North."  Foremost  amongst  the  famous  children  of  Edinburgh 
are  Hume,  Robertson,  Dugald  Stewart,  Erskine,  Napier  (the  inventor  of  logarithms), 
Walter  Scott,  Brougham,  Macaulay,  Hugh  Miller,  and  Nasmyth. 

The  ancient  capital  of  a  kingdom,  Edinburgh  still  guards  regalia  in  its  castle, 
and  one  of  its  buildings  retains  the  name  of  Parliament  House,  although  now 
merely  the  seat  of  the  High  Courts  of  Judicature  and  the  depository  of  the  Advocates' 
and  Signet  Libraries,  supported  by  the  advocates  and  writers  to  the  Signet,  but 
thrown  open,  with  commendable  liberality,  to  the  public  at  large.  The  Advocates' 
Library  is  entitled  to  a  copy  of  every  book  published  in  the  United  Kingdom,  and 
amongst  other  treasures  bearing  upon  the  history  of  Scotland,  it  contains  the 
precious  collection  of  Gaelic  manuscripts  formed  by  the  Highland  Society  in  the 
course  of  the  inquiry  instituted  to  determine  the  authenticity  of  Ossian's  poems. 
The  Signet  Library  is  rich  in  works  relating  to  the  history  of  England  and 
Ireland.  Holyrood  Palace  possesses  the  remains  of  its  abbatial  church  and  a  few 
curious  pictures,  but  historical  associations  attract  the  crowds  who  visit  it  more 
especially  to  the  apartments  formerly  occupied  by  Mary,  Queen  of  Scots. 

The  most  prominent  public  buildings  of  Edinburgh  are  consecrated  to  educa- 
tion. The  university,  founded  in  1582,  is  attended  by  1,500  students,  and 
possesses  a  library  of  160,000  volumes  and  valuable  museums.      The  Museum  of 


EDINBURGH.  327 

Science  and  Art,  modelled  upon  that  of  South  Kensington,  but  possessing  in 
addition  a  natural- history  collection,  adjoins  it.  The  observatorj'  on  Calton 
Hill,  by  the  side  of  Nelson's  unshapely  monument  and  of  an  incomplete  repro- 
duction of  the  Parthenon,  intended  to  commemorate  the  glories  of  Waterloo,  is 
a  dependency  of  the  university.  There  are  a  famous  medical  school,  various 
theological  colleges,  a  veterinary  college,  a  high  school,  Fettes  College  (richly 
endowed),  and  many  other  schools  in  which  a  classical  education,  preparatory  to 
a  university  career,  may  be  secured.  On  the  "  Mound,"  which  connects  the  old 
town  with  the  new,  rise  two  classical  structures,  namely,  the  Royal  Institution, 
with  an  antiquarian  museum  and  a  statue  gallery,  and  the  National  Gallery  of 
Paintings.  Statues  and  monuments  are  numerous  in  every  part  of  the  town^ 
most  prominent  being  the  Gothic  canopy  sheltering  a  seated  statue  of  Sir  Walter 
Scott.  Botanical  and  zoological  gardens  still  further  bear  witness  to  the  zeal 
which  animates  the  citizens  in  all  that  relates  to  education,  and  prove  that  they 
are  firmly  resolved  that  their  city  shall  deserve  its  epithet  in  the  future  as  it 
has  earned  it  in  the  past.  Nor  is  there  any  lack  of  charitable  institutions. 
The  Royal  Infirmary ;  Heriot's  Hospital  for  the  Education  of  Fatherless  Boys, 
founded  by  James's  "  Jingling  Geordie ;  "  and  Donaldson's  Hospital  for  Deaf  and 
Dumb  are  institutions  of  which  any  city  might  feel  proud. 

Edinburgh  is  not  a  manufacturing  town,  although  in  the  matter  of  literary 
publications  of  every  kind  it  may  fearlessly  take  its  place  by  the  side  of  London. 
In  no  other  town  of  Britain  are  the  members  of  the  liberal  professions  so  numerous. 
Unfortunately  the  number  of  proletarians  is  as  great  as  in  many  a  factory  town, 
and  the  narrow  "  closes  "  of  the  old  town  hide  a  population  seething  in  vice,  which 
ever  attends  upon  misery. 

Leith,  the  maritime  suburb  of  Edinburgh,  is  a  seat  of  manufactories,  where 
we  meet  with  foundries,  engineering  works,  breweries,  india-rubber  and  gutta- 
percha works,  foundries,  glass  houses,  and  rope-walks.  The  harbour,  one  of  the 
oldest  in  Scotland,  is  protected  by  two  long  piers,  3,530  and  3,123  feet  in  length, 
and  regular  steam  communication  exists  between  it  and  Iceland,  Denmark, 
Germany,  Holland,  Belgium,  France,  and  the  coasts  of  England  and  Scotland. 
Newhaven,  a  small  fishing  village,  adjoins  Leith,  whilst  Gr anion,  though  only  a 
mile  to  the  west  of  it,  is  an  independent  port,  connected  by  a  steamboat  ferry  with 
Burntisland,  in  Fife.  Portohello,  thus  named  by  a  sailor  who  had  taken  part  in 
the  assault  upon  a  town  of  the  same  name  in  America,  has  grown  into  favour  as  a 
watering-place.     Near  it  are  the  Joppa  salt  works. 

Musselburgh,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Esk,  spanned  by  three  bridges,  of  which  the 
oldest  is  said  to  have  been  constructed  by  the  Romans,  who  had  a  camp  on 
Inveresk  Hill,  has  extensive  links,  affording  the  best  golfing  ground  near  Edin- 
burgh. Pinkie  House,  an  interesting  mansion,  near  which  the  Earl  of  Hertford 
defeated  the  Scots  in  1547,  and  Carberry  Hill,  where,  in  1567,  Queen  Mary 
surrendered  to  her  insurgent  nobles,  are  in  the  neighbourhood.  Dalkeith,  a  small 
manufacturing  town  and  busy  grain  market,  with  collieries  near  it,  lies  a  few 
miles  up  the  river,  at  the  confluence  of  the  North  and  South  Esk.     Close   to  it 


328  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

are  Dalkeith  Palace,  a  seat  of  the  Duke  of  Buccleuch,  and  Newbattle  Abbey,  the 
residence  of  the  Marquis  of  Lothian.  Borthwick  Castle,  where  Queen  Mary 
resided  after  her  unfortunate  marriage  with  Bothwell,  lies  to  the  south-east. 
Full  of  interest  are  the  banks  of  the  North  Esk,  which  flows  along  the  eastern 
foot  of  the  Pentland  Hills.  Beyond  the  manufacturing  village  of  Lassicade  we  pass 
Ros/in,  with  the  ruins  of  its  beautiful  Gothic  chapel ;  the  moor  on  which  the 
Scots,  led  on  by  Corayn,  scattered  three  English  hosts  '*  beneath  one  summer 
sun  ; "  and  Hmvthornden,  the  seat  of  Drummond,  the  poet  and  friend  of  Shakspere 
and  Ben  Jonson.  Higher  up  still  we  pass  through  the  romantic  scenery 
described  in  Allan  Ramsay's  pastoral  poem,  "  The  Gentle  Shepherd,"  and  finally 
reach  the  small  town  of  Pennycuick  and  its  paper-mills. 

Far  less  interesting  is  the  region  to  the  south-west  of  Edinburgh.  The  only 
villages  there  are  Mid-Calder,  on  Almond  Water,  and  West  Calder,  still  higher  up 
in  the  hills,  where  oil  is  distilled  from  shale. 

The  county  of  Linlithgow,  or  West  Lothian,  is  a  hilly  tract  of  country,  for 
the  most  part  of  great  fertility,  and  rich  in  iron  and  coal,  which  stretches  from 
the  Firth  of  Forth  into  the  valley  of  the  Clyde.  Linlithgow,  the  county  town, 
seated  on  a  little  /m,  or  lake,  was  anciently  the  Versailles  of  the  Kings  of 
Scotland,  and  in  its  royal  palace,  burnt  down  in  1746,  Mary  Stuart  was  born. 
Borrowstounness,  or  JBo'ness,  to  the  north  of  Linlithgow,  on  the  Firth  of  Forth,  is 
a  shipping  port  and  colliery  town,  and  its  galleries  extend  beneath  the  Firth 
until  they  nearly  meet  those  driven  from  the  coast  opposite.  Towards  the  close 
of  last  century  the  owner  of  these  mines,  the  Earl  of  Kincardine,  had  a  circular 
quay  constructed  in  the  middle  of  the  Firth,  from  which  a  shaft  gave  direct  access 
to  the  mine.  This  curiosity  existed  for  many  years,  until  an  exceptionally  high 
tide  washed  over  it,  flooded  the  mine,  and  drowned  the  miners  that  were  in  it. 
Up  to  1775  all  miners  and  salt-makers  of  Lothian  were  serfs,  attached  to  the  soil, 
and  sold  with  it.  Their  definitive  liberation  only  took  place  in  1795,  and  there 
still  live  old  men  in  Scotland  who  were  born  slaves.*  Travellers  described  these 
miners  as  reduced  by  misery  to  the  level  of  beasts  ;  but  their  descendants  have 
much  improved  in  appearance,  and  no  longer  attract  attention  by  their  gauntness 
and  hollow  eyes. 

Queensferry,  at  the  narrowest  part  of  the  Firth,  will,  in  the  course  of  a  few 
years,  be  joined  to  North  Queensferry  by  one  of  the  most  stupendous  suspension 
bridges  ever  constructed.  The  roadway  of  this  bridge  will  lie  150  feet  above  high 
water,  and  its  chains  will  be  supported  upon  eight  towers,  of  which  those  on  the 
island  of  Inchgarvie,  in  the  middle  of  the  Firth,  will  rise  to  the  extraordinary  height 
of  596  feet.     The  spans  on  either  side  of  the  island  will  be  1,600  feet  in  width. 

Bathgate  is  the  principal  town  in  the  interior  of  the  county.  It  has  an  oil- 
shale  distillery,  and  depends  largely  upon  its  trade  in  corn  and  cattle,  and  the 
neighbouring  collieries.  Near  it  are  Armadale,  Crofthead,  and  Torphichen,  the 
latter  with  the  ruins  of  a  preceptory  of  the  Knights  of  St.  John. 

*  Hugh  Miller,  "  Edinburgh  and  its  Neighbourhood  ;  "  Lord  Rosebery,  at  the  Social  Science 
Congress,  Glasgow,  1874. 


STIELINGSHIRE— CLACKMANNAN.  329 

Stirlingshire  lies  along  the  south  of  the  Forth,  which  is  bordered  from 
its  estuary  up  to  Flanders  Moss  by  a  tract  of  alluvial  land,  formerly  subject  to  be 
flooded.  The  upper  portion  of  the  county  is  shut  in  between  Loch  Lomond  and  the 
Upper  Forth.  It  forms  part  of  the  Highlands,  and  rises  in  Ben  Lomond  to  a 
height  of  3,192  feet.  The  centre  of  the  Lowland  portion  is  traversed  by  ridges  of 
igneous  rock  forming  the  Lennox  Hills  and  Campsie  Fells  (1,894  feet).  On  the 
north  these  hills  are  bounded  by  a  strip  of  old  red  sandstone,  whilst  on  the  south 
they  border  upon  carboniferous  limestone  and  coal  measures. 

Falkirk,  the  principal  town  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  county,  lies  on  the 
margin  of  the  alluvial  plain,  not  far  from  the  Carron.  It  is  the  centre  of  a  rich 
agricultural  district,  with  important  cattle  fairs,  and  its  vicinity  is  lit  up  at  night 
by  the  fires  of  numerous  iron  works,  most  important  amongst  which  are  the 
Carron  Works,  2  miles  to  the  north.  Falkirk  was  formerly  of  great  strategical 
importance,  for  through  it  led  the  highway  which  armies  desirous  of  passing 
round  the  head  of  the  Firth  of  Forth  were  obliged  to  follow.  IS'umerous  battles 
have  been  fought  in  its  vicinity.  In  1258  Edward  I.  inflicted  a  defeat  upon  the 
Scotch ;  in  1746  the  Pretender  routed  the  English  army.  Grangemouth,  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Carron  and  of  the  Forth  and  Clyde  Canal,  though  only  founded  in 
1777,  has  become  a  place  of  considerable  commerce.  It  is  an  eastern  outport  of 
Glasgow.  Higher  up  on  the  Carron  are  Kinnaird,  the  birthplace  of  Bruce,  the 
traveller,  and  Denny,  a  small  manufacturing  town.  Crossing  the  water-parting,  we 
enter  the  basin  of  Kelvin  Water,  a  tributary  of  the  Clyde.  Near  its  northern 
bank,  and  in  the  vicinity  of  Graham's  Dyke,  or  Antoninus's  Wall,  are  the  small 
towns  of  Kilsyth,  Lennoxtoivn,  and  Milngavie,  which  have  bleaching  grounds  and 
print  works,  and  lie  within  the  manufacturing  district  of  which  Glasgow  is  the 
centre. 

Stirling,  the  county  town,  occupies  a  site  admirably  adapted  for  the  defence 
of  the  passage  of  the  Forth,  whose  valley  is  here  confined  between  two  steep 
rocks.  Stirling  Castle,  which  still  commands  the  town,  is  associated  with  many 
events  in  the  history  of  Scotland.  A  colossal  statue  of  Robert  the  Bruce  has  been 
raised  within  its  precincts,  whilst  the  rock  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  valley  is 
crowned  with  a  tower  commemorating  the  first  victory  secured  by  Wallace  in 
1297.  The  view  from  the  battlements  of  the  castle  is  unsurpassed  for  beauty  in 
Scotland,  and  extends  from  the  summits  of  the  Grampians  along  the  Links  of  the 
Forth  to  the  head  of  its  Firth.  Several  of  the  old  mansions  in  the  town  remind 
us  of  similar  buildings  in  Eouen,  and  prove  the  prevalence  of  French  taste 
during  the  sixteenth  century.  South  of  Stirling  are  St.  Ninian's,  inhabited  by 
nail-makers,  and  Bannockhurn,  which  manufactures  tartans.  It  w^as  near  these 
villages  that  Robert  the  Bruce  defeated  the  English  in  1314.  Bridge  of  Allan, 
2  miles  to  the  north  of  Stirling,  is  much  frequented  for  the  sake  of  its  mineral 
springs  and  its  delightful  neighbourhood.  Kipjjen,  a  village  on  the  Forth, 
11  miles  above  Stirling,  is  noted  for  its  whiskey. 

The  small  county  of  Clackmannan  stretches  from  the  Ochill  Hills  (Ben 
Cleuch,  2,352  feet)  to  the  alluvial  plain  bordering  upon  the  Firth  of  Forth,  and 

118— E 


830 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


is  traversed  by  the  Northern  and  Southern  Devon  rivers.  The  former  of  these  rivers, 
not  far  from  the  Rumbling  Bridge,  forms  the  falls  of  "  Caldron  Linn."  It  is 
rich  in  coal  and  iron,  and  its  inhabitants  are  employed  in  mining,  in  the 
manufacture  of  woollen  stuffs,  and  in  other  branches  of  industry.  Alloa,  its 
largest  town,  lies  near  the  head  of  the  Firth.  Its  manufactures  are  of  importance. 
They  include  plaids  and  shawls,  steam-engines,  ships,  snuff,  whiskey,  and   ale. 


Fig.  161. — The  Narrows  op  Queensferry. 

Scale  1  :  70.000. 


0to5 
Fathoms 


Over  28 
Fathoms. 


1  MUe. 


Dollar,  with  Castle  Campbell,  the  old  stronghold  of  the  Argylls ;  Tillicoultry ;  and 
Alva  (the  latter  in  an  outlying  part  of  Stirlingshire),  with  disused  silver 
mines,  are  small  manufacturing  towns  in  the  valley  of  the  Northern  Devon,  and 
at  the  foot  of  the  Ochills.  Clackmannan,  the  county  town,  is  a  mere  village  on 
the  Southern  Devon. 

Kinross  is  a  small  inland  county,  shut  in  between  the  Ochill  Hills  and  the 
basaltic  Lomond  Hills  (1,713  feet),  with  its  centre  occupied  by  a  beautiful  sheet 


FIFE. 


331 


of  water,  Loch  Leven,  on  one  of  the  islands  in  which  stands  Lochleven  Castle,  in 
which  Mary  Stuart  was  imprisoned  in  1567.  The  lake  is  famous  for  its  fish. 
Kinross,  the  county  town,  stands  on  the  margin  of  the  lake,  and  has  manufactures 
of  linen  and  woollen.  Milnathort,  a  flourishing  village  near  it,  is  noteworthy  as 
possessing  the  oldest  public  library  in  Scotland, 

Fife  consists  of  the  peninsula  which  juts  out  towards  the  North  Sea,  between 
the  Firths  of  Tay  and  Forth,  and  terminates  in  Fife  Ness.  The  northern  portion 
of  this  peninsula  is  traversed  by  an  eastern  continuation  of  the  Ochill  Hills,  com- 
posed of  igneous  rock.  The  fertile  valley  of  the  river  Eden,  or  the  Howe  of  Fife, 
separates  this  part  of  the  county  from  its  southern  and  larger  portion,  almost 
wholly  covered  by  carboniferous  rocks,  capped  here  and  there  with  sheets  of 
basalt,  tuff",  and  volcanic  agglomerate.  There  is  much  fertile  land,  and  extensive 
tracts  have  been  planted  with  trees.  Coal  and  iron  mining,  the  manufacture  of 
Unen,  and  the  fisheries  are  of  importance. 

Dunfermline,  on  the  steep  bank  of  the  Lyn  Water,  has  ruins  of  a  royal  palace 
and  of  an  abbey,  and  is  the  principal  seat  of  the  linen  manufacture.  Coal  mines  and 
iron  works  (including  those  of  Oakley)  are  in  its  neighbourhood.  The  whole  of 
the  coast  of  the  Firth  of  Forth  is  studded  with  fishing  villages  and  towns. 
Inrerkeithing  and  North  Queensferry  are  close  to  the  northern  end  of  the  tremendous 
railway  bridge  now  being  constructed  over  the  Forth.  Lower  down  are  Dalgetty, 
with  salt  works  and  collieries;  Aherdour ;  Burntisland,  »with.  an  excellent 
harbour  ;  Kinghorn ;  and  Kirkcaldy,  the  birthplace  of  Adam  Smith.  Kirkcaldy  is  a 
place  of  considerable  importance,  with  rope-walks,  flax-mills,  and  a  good  local 
trade.  East  of  it  are  Dysart,  where  coal  is  shipped  ;  Wetnys  and  Buckhaven,  two 
fishing  villages ;  and  Leven,  at  the  mouth  of  the  river  of  the  same  name,  which 
flows  down  from  Loch  Leven.  On  the  banks  of  that  river  are  Markinch,  with 
collieries,  flax,  and  cotton  mills,  and  Leslie,  with  flax  and  bleaching  works. 
LochgeUy  lies  in  a  tributary  valley  near  a  small  lake.  Once  more  returning  to 
the  coast,  we  pass  the  fishing  villages  of  Largo,  Earlsferry,  Pittenweem,  and  Anstru- 
ther,  and  doubling  Fife  Ness,  find  ourselves  ofi"  the  perilous  port  of  the  famous 
old  city  of  St.  Andrews,  which  was  of  great  commercial  activity  formerly,  but  now 
deserted  for  places  more  favourably  situated.  There  are  the  ruins  of  a  cathedral 
wrecked  by  the  Calvinists,  and  near  it  the  tower  of  a  chapel  founded  by  St.  Regulus, 
as  also  the  remains  of  a  castle  overhanging  the  sea.  The  university,  founded  in 
1411,  is  the  oldest  in  Scotland,  and,  with  its  residential  colleges,  is  more  like 
Oxford  and  Cambridge  than  are  the  other  universities  of  the  country.  Foremost 
amongst  the  other  scholastic  establishments  of  the  town  is  Madras  College,  founded 
in  1833  by  Dr.  Andrew  Bell  for  the  purpose  of  practically  testing  the  monitorial 
system  of  education  invented  by  him.  The  salubrious  air,  no  less  than  the  educa- 
tional advantages  of  St.  Andrews,  has  attracted  many  well-to-do  residents. 

The  river  Eden  enters  the  sea  to  the  north  of  St.  Andrews,  and  in  the  centre 
of  its  fertile  valley  stands  Cupar,  the  county  town,  with  many  curious  old  build- 
ings and  various  industries.  Pipe-clay  is  found  in  the  vicinity,  and  manufactured 
into  pipes.    Higher  up  the  Eden  are  the  small  market  towns  of  Auchtermuchty  and 


332  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

FaMand,  with  the   "  palace "  in  which  the  eldest    son  of   Robert   III.  died  of 
starvation. 

Ferry  port-on- Craig  occupies  a  commanding  position  at  the  mouth  of  the  Tay, 
opposite  Broughty.  Newport  and  Balmerino  are  villages  on  the  Tay,  between  which 
stood  the  bridge,  destroyed  in  December,  1879.  Neichurgh,  higher  up,  on  the 
border  of  Perthshire,  beautifully  situated,  carries  on  a  considerable  trade  in  corn 
and  coals.     Near  it  are  the  ruins  of  the  abbey  of  Lindores. 


CHAPTER  XIY. 


NORTHERN  SCOTLAND. 


(The  Counties  of  Perth,  Forfar,  Kincardine,  Aberdeen,  Banff,  Elgin,  Nairn,  Inverness,  Ross 
AND  Cromarty,  Sutherland,  Caithness,  Orkney,  Shetland,  and  Argyll.) 


'  GrENEKAL  Features. 

HIS  is  a  portion  of  the  British  Islands  which,  compared  with  England 
and  Southern  Scotland,  is  but  thinly  populated.  In  its  great  geo- 
graphical features,  its  relief,  contours,  and  coast-line,  it  resembles 
Scandinavia  rather  than  any  other  part  of  Great  Britain.  If 
the  sea  once  more  flooded  the  broad  plain  stretching  from  the 
Forth  to  the  Clyde,  its  character  of  insularity  would  hardly  become  more  apparent 
than  it  is  now.  Upper  Caledonia  is,  in  fact,  a  large  island,  with  smaller  islands 
for  its  satellites. 

Far  more  elevated  in  the  mean  than  England,  nearly  the  whole  of  it  is 
occupied  by  mountains ;  and  these  mountains  form  ranges,  which  extend  almost 
without  an  exception  from  the  south-west  to  the  north-east.  In  the  south  this 
Highland  region  is  bounded  by  the  Strathmore,  or  "  Great  Yalley,"  through  which 
the  plain  of  the  Forth  is  extended  north-eastward  towards  Montrose  and  Stone- 
haven. The  valleys  of  the  Dee,  Doveran,  Spey,  Findhorn,  and  Nairn  run  parallel 
with  that  plain  towards  the  German  Ocean,  and  the  remarkable  fissure  of 
Glenmore,  which  connects  Loch  Eil  with  the  Inverness  Firth,  extends  in  the 
same  direction.  There  are  few  fissures  in  Europe  which  in  rigidity  of  contour  can 
compare  with  this  ''Great  Glen"  of  Scotland,  which,  100  miles  in  length,  joins 
the  Atlantic  to  the  German  Ocean.  If  the  Dee  were  to  rise  but  100  feet,  the 
northern  extremity  of  Scotland  would  be  separated  from  the  remainder  of  the 
Highlands,  and  the  chain  of  lakes  and  rivers  now  occupying  the  glen  converted 
into  a  narrow  strait  of  the  sea  of  uniform  width.  The  ocean  would  then  follow 
the  path  apparently  traced  for  it  in  the  Caledonian  Canal.  The  execution  of  that 
work  was  greatly  facilitated  by  the  existence  of  the  river  Ness,  which  falls  into 
Inverness  Firth,  and  Loch  Ness,  which  occupies  the  centre  of  the  isthmus.  All  the 
engineers  had  to  do  was  to  excavate  a  canal  22  miles  in  length,  and  to  furnish  it 


334 


THE  BEITISH  ISLES. 


with  lochs  and  Neptune's  ladders.  Loch  Ness,  which  occupies  the  centre  of 
Glenmore,  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  lakes  for  depth  and  regularity  of  contour  • 
for  a  length  of  some  20  miles  it  has  a  width  of  4,600  feet ;  the  scarps  which  bound 
it  rise  to  a  height  of  1,300  feet ;  and  its  depth  is  790  feet.  In  the  seas  near  the 
neighbouring  coast  there  are  but  few  localities  which  exceed  this  depth. 

In  that  part  of  Scotland  which  lies  to  the  north  of  the  Caledonian  Canal  there 
exists  another  depression  analogous  to  that  of  Glenmore,  but  far  less  regular  in 

Fig.  162. — Glenmore. 
Scale  1  :  1,540,000. 


its  contour,  and  not  yet  completely  scooped  out  towards  the  north-west.  It  is 
almost  wholly  occupied  by  Loch  Shin,  and  by  the  river  which  drains  that  lake 
into  Dornoch  Firth.  Its  direction  is  almost  at  right  angles  to  the  mountains, 
which  here,  as  they  do  farther  south,  extend  towards  the  north-east,  with  the 
Orkneys  and  Shetland  Islands  lying  in  the  prolongation  of  their  axis.     The  sub- 


NORTHERN  SCOTLAND. 


335 


marine  range  which  forms  the  Hebrides  follows  the  same  direction,  as  do  also  the 
Lofoten,  on  the  coast  of  Norway,  and  the  plateau  of  Scandinavia. 

As  a  whole  the  mountains  of  Northern  Scotland  are  known  under  the  designa- 
tion of  Grampians — thus  named  after  a  Mount  Graupus,  mentioned  by  Latin  writers, 
but  misspelt  by  their  copyists.  These  mountains  consist  of  a  large  number  of 
groups  and  chains,  separated  by  narrow  glens  or  valleys  occupied  bv  lakes. 
Immediately  to  the  north  of  the  estuary  of  the  Clyde  rise  the  Southern  Grampians, 
whose  summits,  Ben  Lomond  (3,192  feet),  Ben  More  (^'^,281  feet),  and  Ben  Lawers 
(3,984  feet),  are  most  frequently  the  goal  of  tourists,  owing  to  their  vicinity  to 
large  towns.     Farther  north  rises  the  almost  insulated  mass  of  Ben  Cruachan 


Fig.  163.— Ben  Nevis. 
Scale  1  :  200,000 


W.ofGr, 


2  Miles. 


(3,670  feet),  by  the  side  of  Loch  Awe  ;  and  farther  away  still,  beyond  Loch  Leven, 
one  of  the  ramifications  of  the  Firth  of  Lorn,  there  looms  in  front  of  us  the 
highest  summit  of  the  British  Isles,  Ben  Nevis  (4,406  feet).  Its  aspect  is  all  the 
more  imposing  as  its  foot  is  washed  in  two  lochs,  and  we  are  enabled  at  a  glance  to 
embrace  it  in  its  entirety,  from  the  sands  and  meadows  at  its  foot  to  the  snow  which 
generally  caps  its  summit.  Ben  Nevis,  the  "rock  which  touches  the  heavens," 
forms  the  western  pillar  of  the  Grampians  proper,  wbich  terminate  to  the  south  of 
Aberdeen,  after  having  thrown  off  the  spur  of  Cairngorm  towards  the  north-east. 
At  the  point  of  separation  rises  Ben  Muich  Dhui,  or  Mac  Dhui  (4,296  feet), 
the  second  highest  mountain  of  Great  Britain.      The  Grampians  are  the  back- 


336  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

bone  of  all  Scotland.  Protuberances  of  granite  rising  into  domes  above  tbe 
Silurian  strata  abound  in  tbem,  and  extend  eastward  to  the  German  Ocean,  whose 
waves  wash  the  foot  of  the  granitic  promontory  of  Buchan  Ness. 

The  mountains  which  rise  beyond  the  deep  and  narrow  Glenmore  are  known  as 
the  Northern  Highlands.  Ben  Attow  (4,000  feet),  their  culminating  summit,  is 
inferior  in  height  to  Ben  Nevis,  but  they  do  not  yield  to  the  Grampians  in  wildness 
of  aspect.  Even  in  the  Alps  we  meet  few  sites  so  severely  melancholy  as  are  the 
Highland  glens  of  Ross  and  Sutherland.  In  the  Alps  we  have  at  least  the  bright 
verdure  of  the  meadows,  and  at  an  inferior  elevation  dark  pine  woods ;  but  most  of 
the  Scotch  mountains  are  covered  with  sombre-coloured  greyish  heather  and 
peat ;  black  mountain  streams  run  down  the  narrow  glens  ;  and  the  mists,  creeping 
along  the  mountain  sides,  alternately  hide  and  reveal  the  crests  of  the  rocks,  which, 
suddenly  seen  through  the  vapour,  loom  forth  like  phantoms,  only  to  sink  back 
again  into  nothingness.  The  very  solitude  has  something  formidable  about  it. 
The  earth  appears  to  be  void  of  life.  From  every  summit  the  eye  embraces  sheets 
of  water  winding  between  avenues  of  rocks,  against  the  foot  of  which  we  can 
even  occasionally  hear  the  waves  beating.  From  some  of  the  promontories  we 
look  down  a  sheer  precipice  of  300  feet  upon  the  foaming  waves  lashing  their  foot. 
Cape  Wrath,  which  forms  the  north-western  angle  of  Scotland,  is  one  of  those 
superb  headlands  invariably  surrounded  by  the  foam  of  the  sea.  Duncansby 
Head,  the  other  angle  of  the  peninsula,  is  less  abrupt ;  but  near  it,  in  the  midst  of 
the  waves,  a  few  isolated  rocks  rise  like  obelisks. 

Leipoldt  estimates  the  mean  height  of  Scotland,  including  the  Lowlands,  at 
1,250  feet,  and  probably  this  is  not  excessive,  for  the  plains  are  few,  and  those  in 
the  north  are  of  small  extent.*  Excepting  Strathmore,  the  north-eastern  extension 
of  the  plain  of  the  Forth,  the  only  level  parts  of  Northern  Scotland  capable  of 
cultivation  are  to  be  found  on  both  sides  of  Moray  Firth  and  in  the  peninsula  of 
Caithness,  to  the  north-east.  These  plains  belong  to  a  geological  formation  different 
from  that  of  the  Grampians,  for  they  are  composed  of  old  red  sandstone.  But  though 
cultivable  plains  are  limited  in  extent,  there  exist  vast  stretches  of  undulating 
moorland,  gradually  rising  to  heights  of  many  hundred  feet,  and  through  which 
we  may  wander  for  miles  without  meeting  with  a  tree  or  human  habitation. 
Formerly  nearly  all  the  Highland  valleys  were  covered  with  forests,  which  extended 
also  up  the  mountain  sides,  and  several  etymologists  are  of  opinion  that  Caledonia 
simply  means  "forest."  Near  Balmoral,  in  the  upper  valley  of  the  Dee,  the 
trunks  of  pines  have  been  dug  up  from  the  peat  at  an  elevation  of  2,460  feet  above 
the  sea-level.  There  now  survive  only  miserable  remnants  of  these  ancient  woods, 
for  since  the  Middle  Ages  all  the  old  forests  have  been  either  cut  down  or  burnt, 
on  account  of  their  harbouring  wolves,  boars,  and  outlaws.  On  the  conclusion  of 
the  Highland  wars,  as  many  as  24,000  woodmen  were  employed  at  a  time 
in  destroying  the  forests,  f     Nearly  all  the  trees  now  in  the  valleys  have  been 

*  According  to  a  careful  computation  made  at  the  Ordnance  Survey  Office,  the  mean  height  of  Perth 
and  Clackmannan  is  1,144  feet ;  that  of  Banflfshire,  965  feet ;  and  that  of  Aberdeen,  875  feet. 
T  John  Wilson;  Keltie,  "  History  of  the  Scottish  Highlands." 


NORTHERN  SCOTLAND.  837 

planted  recently.  Here  and  there,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  sumptuous  mansions 
of  the  owners  of  the  land,  the  ancient  forests  have  been  partly  replanted,  but  away 
from  them  the  eye  meets  nought  but  heather,  peat,  and  naked  rocks. 

No  Scottish  mountain  pierces  the  line  of  perennial  snow  ;  but  occasionally 
in  hollows  which  the  sun's  rays  penetrate  but  for  a  few  hours  in  summer,  the 
snow  remains  diiring  the  whole  of  the  year.  The  precipitation,  which  exceeds 
6  feet  on  the  higher  summits  of  the  Grampians,  descends  in  the  shape  of  snow 
during  a  considerable  portion  of  the  year,  and  the  winds  pile  up  this  snow  in  the 
valleys  in  masses  too  considerable  to  melt  away  very  quickly.  The  superabundant 
moisture,  which  is  not  carried  off  by  torrents  or  **  waters  "  to  the  sea,  is  then  sucked 
up  by  the  mosses  which  cover  the  sides  of  the  valley,  or  fills  the  lochs  which 
occupy  their  bottom.  Several  of  these  water-laden  peat  mosses  extend  down  the 
opposite  slopes  of  a  plateau,  and  give  birth  to  rivulets  flowing  in  contrary  direc- 
tions. In  countries  formed  of  solid  rocks  such  bifurcations  are  rare ;  but  they  occur 
frequently  in  regions  like  Scotland,  where  the  rocks  are  covered  with  a  thick 
layer  of  peat  saturated  with  water.  The  numerous  breaches  in  the  mountain 
ranges  account  for  this  anastomosis  between  river  basins.  One  of  the  most 
remarkable  of  these  transverse  breaches  is  occupied  by  Loch  Errocht,  lying  imme- 
diately to  the  east  of  Ben  Alder,  a  mountain  over  3,000  feet  in  height. 

We  have  seen  that  the  general  direction  of  the  mountain  ranges,  valleys,  and 
rivers  of  Scotland  is  from  the  south-west  to  the  north-east ;  but  besides  this,  on  a 
closer  examination  of  the  surface  of  the  land,  we  find  that  the  rocks  are  scored  in 
parallel  lines  of  remarkable  regularity.  It  almost  looks  as  if  the  whole  country 
had  been  carded  like  the  fleece  of  a  sheep.  All  the  hills  at  the  foot  of  the  High- 
lands and  in  the  Lowlands  have  been  planed  to  their  very  summits,  and  to  this 
planing  must  be  ascribed  their  rounded  form  and  smooth  contours.*  What 
other  agency  can  thus  have  changed  the  appearance  of  the  mountains,  if  not  that  of 
the  glaciers  which  formerly  covered  the  whole  of  the  country,  and  whose  drift 
deposits  and  terminal  moraines  may  still  be  traced  in  every  valley  descending 
from  the  Grampians  ?  During  the  great  ice  age  huge  rivers  of  ice  flowed  down  from 
the  mountains  of  Scotland.  Passing  over  the  hills,  they  cut  away  all  inequalities 
of  the  ground,'  and  spread  the  debris  over  the  plains :  reaching  the  sea,  they 
sent  adrift  floating  icebergs.  According  to  whether  a  glacier  was  more  or  less 
formidable,  it  deposited  its  terminal  moraine  at  a  more  or  less  considerable  distance 
from  its  head,  forming  either  banks  and  groups  of  islands  in  the  arms  of  the  sea, 
or  barriers  across  the  valley.  There  is  not  a  glen  or  a  strath  in  all  Scotland  whose 
streams  were  not  arrested  by  one  of  these  moraines,  and  pent  up  so  as  to  form  a 
lake,  whose  level  gradually  rose  until  its  waters  were  able  to  escape.  These  heaps 
of  glacial  gravel,  which  lie  across  every  river  valley,  and  are  sometimes  concealed 
beneath  a  bed  of  peat,  whilst  at  others  they  form  undulating  hills  covered  with 
verdure,  are  known  as  kaims.  They  are  the  eskers  of  Ireland,  and  the  asar  of 
Sweden.  The  stiff  clays  of  the  glacial  epoch  are  called  ti/l  in  Scotland,  and  are 
the  boulder  clay  of  English  geologists. 

*  James  Geikie,  "The  Great  Ice  A.ge." 


338  THE  BRITISH  ISLES. 

But  the  rocks  detached  by  glacial  action  from  the  summits  of  the  Grampians 
were  not  all  deposited  at  the  foot  of  the  glaciers.  There  was  a  time,  during  the 
great  ice  age,  when  a  large  portion  of  Grreat  Britain  was  submerged  beneath  the 
waters  of  the  Atlantic,  and  icebergs,  cast  off  by  the  Scotch  glaciers,  carried  rocks 
and  other  debris  to  considerable  distances.  Only  in  this  way  can  we  explain  the 
presence  of  Scotch  granite  in  the  clay  of  "Wolverhampton  and  near  Worcester,  at 
a  distance  of  170  and  200  miles  from  the  mountains  whence  these  erratic  blocks 
can  have  been  derived.*  The  Hebrides,  too,  formerly  much  less  elevated  than 
they  now  are,  were  planed  by  icebergs  floating  across  the  Minch.f  But  whilst 
Caledonia  sent  its  rock-laden  icebergs  to  immense  distances,  it  became  in  turn 
the  depository  of  erratic  blocks  detached  from  the  mountains  of  Scandinavia. 
In  the  county  of  Aberdeen,  and  in  other  parts  of  Scotland,  Norwegian  granite 
occurs  in  immense  quantities.  At  various  places  the  glacial  streams  descending 
from  the  Scotch  and  the  Scandinavian  mountains  appear  to  have  met,  and 
deflected  each  other.  The  glacial  scorings  on  the  rocks  of  Caithness,  for  instance,  run 
from  the  south-east  to  the  north- west,  instead  of  from  south  to  north,  in  accordance 
with  the  direction  which  the  icebergs  took  when  first  they  started  upon  their 
pilgrimage.  This  deflection,  however,  is  explained  if  we  assume  that  they 
encountered  an  easterly  current  laden  with  Scandinavian  ice,  and  were  consequently 
drifted  to  the  north-westward.  Similar  scorings,  traceable  to  the  agency  of 
Scandinavian  ice,  have  been  discovered  on  the  rocks  of  the  Orkneys,  Shetland 
Islands,  and  Faroer.+ 

Oscillations  of  the  soil  succeeded  each  other  in  Caledonia  in  the  course  of 
geological  periods.  Near  Grangemouth  the  bed  of  an  ancient  river  has  been 
discovered  at  a  depth  of  260  feet  beneath  the  Forth,  and  this  proves  that  the 
country  must  have  subsided  to  that  extent  since  this  river  flowed  across  it.§ 
So  considerable  and  unequal  have  been  the  changes  of  level  that  boulders  of 
granite  are  found  now  at  a  height  greater  than  that  of  the  mountains  from 
which  they  were  originally  detached.  The  most  recent  phenomenon  of  this 
nature  is  that  of  a  gradual  upheaval  of  the  land.  It  is  owing  to  this  upheaval 
that  the  share  which  the  glaciers  of  Norway  had  in  the  formation  of  Scotland 
has  been  revealed  to  us.  Along  all  the  coasts  may  be  observed  raised  beaches 
covered  with  marine  shells,  some  as  regular  in  their  contours  as  if  the  sea  had 
only  recently  retired  from  them,  others  ravined  by  torrents,  and  here  and  there 
covered  with  debris.  At  a  height  of  43  feet  above  the  actual  level  of  Loch 
Lomond  can  be  traced  one  of  these  ancient  beaches,  which  must  have  been  formed 
when  that  loch  was  still  an  arm  of  the  sea,  and  freely  communicated  with 
the  ocean.  The  erratic  blocks  stranded  on  the  raised  beaches  of  some  parts  of 
the  coast  resemble  rows  of  penguins  perched  on  a  projecting  terrace.  Along  the 
coasts  of  Aberdeen  and  Caithness  the